Sugar Bears win in Farris Center


Playing volleyball inside the Farris Center for the first time in two decades, the University of Central Arkansas volleyball team played arguably their most exciting match thus far in 2011, defeating Texas A&M Corpus Christi in a tight, five-set contest, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16) Thursday night in front of 354 fans.

It sets up a match of division leaders Saturday, when the Bears host Texas-San Antonio at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Prince Center. UTSA, which enters Saturday’s match having won 33 consecutive sets and 11 consecutive matches, last dropped a set to nationally No. 8 ranked Texas over a month ago. The Roadrunners fell in that match 3-1, but since then have had their way with the Southland Conference, amassing a perfect 11-0 league record.     

Against A&M-Corpus Christi, UCA (14-11, 8-3) was guilty of several mistakes on the evening and overcame lots of obstacles to get their fifth straight win over the Islanders.

"Overall, we didn’t do a whole lot right," Sugar Bears coach David McFatrich said. "It wasn’t a great night of execution but we certainly weren’t out-hearted."

Senior libero Cristin Curl had 32 digs and tallied three vital service aces on the evening.

Freshmen Alicia Dittrich and Scout Brooks were vital in the victory. Dittrich earned a career-high and match-best 17 kills to go along with six blocks. Brooks hit .243, added 13 kills, four digs, two blocks and a service ace.

UCA takes on UTSA, the Western Division leader and a team that has not dropped a set all season, at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Prince Center.

"We haven’t hit on all cylinders all season long," McFatrich said. "When we hit on all cylinders we’re like a Ferrari, but when we play like we did tonight we’re more like a Volkswagen bug."

Conway Blue takes OT victory

Carlos Antuenz’s two extra points proved the difference Thursday night in Conway Blue’s 14-13 overtime victory over Conway White at John McConnell.

With the score tied at 7 in overtime, the teams took over the 10. The Blue’s Karlil Johnson, who rushed for 185 yards on 23 carries, ran for five yards. Then Derail McCoy scored the touchdown.

Terrance Minor scored for the White on a 10-yard run, but the game was decided on a missed extra point.

Minor scored for the White in the first quarter on a 30-yard run. The Blue came back to score on a flea-flicker on fourth and eight. Johnson caught the 55-yard touchdown pass from Jorge Maldando.

Grant Ellis completed three of seven passes for 65 yards for the Blue.

Conway White closes the season Tuesday night at home against Cabot South. The Blue plays at Cabot North.

Clinton Center to host Cardinal exhibit

LITTLE ROCK — The William J. Clinton Presidential Center has announced an upcoming temporary exhibit, "Play Ball! The St. Louis Cardinals," a celebration of America’s pastime. 

The exhibit features baseball memorabilia from the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arkansas Travelers, the AA Affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1966 to 2000.

Opening on March 3, 2012, "Play Ball" is a partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals Organization and will feature items such as the World Series trophy from 2006, championship rings, and Baseball Hall of Fame member and Arkansas Native Dizzy Dean’s jersey.  The exhibit runs through September 16, 2012.

Faulkner players reach final rounds

NORTH LITTLE ROCK —  Two Faulkner County players reached the semifinals and quarterfinals of the state Overall tennis tournament this week before being eliminated at the Burns Park Tennis Center.

Ali Rowden of Greenbrier lost to Lindsey Liles of Little Rock Central in the semifinals of girls singles, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. She earlier defeated Arielle Butler of Searcy in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-0.

Drew Dodge of Conway Christian lost to Austin Crawford of Little Rock Central, 6-0, 6-2, in the quarterfinals. He defeated Matt Talbert of Hot Springs Lakeside, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round.

Harding Academy ousts Conway Christian

PARIS — Harding Academy took a straight-set victory over Conway Christian on Thursday in the semifinals of the Class 3A volleyball tournament here.

The Lady WIldcats won, 25-17, 25-19, 25-16.

Morgan May led the Lady Eagles with 10 kills. Olivia Meriweather and Payton Cope had seven and six, respectively. Emily Hill had 17 digs, Meriweather had 10 and Cope seven. Morgan May led with eight blocks, and Sumerlin Criswell had 23 assists. 

"It is extremely disappointing to lose in the semifinals," CCS coach Brittany Newberry said. "However, it is also such an accomplishment to make it to the semifinals and that is what I want my team to focus on. I am so proud of my team and what they have accomplished this season. 

"They achieved something this season that has never been done in the Conway Christian volleyball program. That is something to be proud of."  

Harding Academy will play Mansfield on Saturday for the state title at Conway’s Buzz Bolding Arena.

BCMS downs Carl Stuart

Bob Courtway Middle School downed crosstown rival Carl Stuart, 18 - 6, Thursday night in eighth-grade football.

Demarian Johnson scored on runs of 65 and 43 yards and a 5-yard pass from Harold Ross.

"That was the only pass that we threw all night," BCMS coach Terry Clardy said. "We made too many mistakes, partially due to the weather but mostly mental. We jumped offside, fumbled three times and didn’t tackle well at times. I am proud of how we handled the adversity and fought back to take control of the game. We will correct the mental errors and prepare to finish strong."

CSMS scored on a 38-yard pass from Breylen Smith to Matt Boley.

"I was proud of my guys. We played hard and fought to the end vs a superior opponent," CSMS coach Barry Lueders said.

Hunter Culbreath, Fraiser Osborne, Zach Mills and Blaine Booher played well on defense. Austin Norris, Will Mathis, Breyden Leach and Boley all had pass receptions.

Cotton Blossoms down Warriors


MONTICELLO — The Hendrix College volleyball team lost in three sets to the University of Arkansas at Monticello here Thursday night. The host Cotton Blossoms (6-21) topped the Warriors (14-18) 25-16, 25-14, 25-16.

UAM hit .223 with 34 kills and nine aces, while Hendrix hit .076 with 23 kills and one ace. The Warriors had more blocks (7-5).

Junior middle blocker Melissa Clement led Hendrix with eight kills and junior right side hitter Katie Bates had five kills and made no errors on nine attempts. Freshmen Jasmine Johnson and Ella Concavage-Nasar had six digs each.

The Warriors will host Bacone College in their final regular season match at Grove Gymnasium at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.