LINCOLN -- Berryville waited nearly two months for another shot at Shiloh Christian after getting swept by the Lady Saints to open the season.
Revenge for the Lady Bobcats came Thursday when Berryville swept Shiloh Christian 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 to win the 4A Northwest District Tournament championship at the Lincoln gym. Berryville, Shiloh Christian, Pea Ridge and Huntsville all advance to the Class 4A state tournament next week at Batesville Southside.
Shiloh Christian (23-13) won the regular-season championship with a 15-0 record that included a 3-0 victory over Berryville on Aug. 22. But Berryville was the dominant team when the district championship and seeding for the state tournament were at stake.
"We have not put three sets together like this all year long," Berryville coach Kristin Whetham said. "We stepped out on that court and played the best we could play."
Berryville (29-6-1) will face host Batesville Southside on Tuesday after winning the district championship for the first time since 2013.
Berryville took control at the outset and won the first set 25-20 after grabbing a 7-0 lead. Berryville won the second set 25-22 and the Lady Bobcats took the floor with confidence in the third set, especially with the support of a small but vocal group of supporters who made the long drive from Berryville for Thursday night's final.
Shiloh Christian tied the game 22-22 before Berryville again made the clutch plays down the stretch to complete the sweep over the Lady Saints. Berryville won the match despite the front line presence of Lexi Richards, who had over 20 kills. Whetham credited team defense, especially senior libero Aspen Smith, who began the season in the front court for the Lady Bobcats.
"Aspen Smith, without her, we wouldn't have won this game," Whetham said. "She played the best she's played all year. We work on different defenses for teams with dominant hitters like (Richards) and we could not have run out second defense any better than tonight."
Shiloh Christian will try to regroup at the state tournament after being denied the district championship it has controlled in recent years.
"Very disappointing but, if we're going to lose one I'd rather lose here than at the state tournament," Shiloh Christian coach Nathan Bodenstein said. "Berryville came out to win and they were not going down. Their defense was amazing."
Sports on 10/20/2017
Print Headline: Berryville sweeps Shiloh Christian to win district title