Volleyball loses in state semi-finals

The Fall 2019 6A volleyball season has been the third time in five years that the Wildcats have been in the running for the state championship. Fayetteville ended the Wildcat’s chances of a state title three times. This season, the Wildcats lost against Fayetteville in a conference match on Sept. 26.

“Instead of saying we’re Har-Ber, we can do it, we said, they’re Fayetteville, they’re going to beat us,” junior setter Taylor Rushing said.

Last year, Har-Ber beat out Fayetteville in a conference match with a score of 3-1, only to be eliminated with their loss to Conway 3-0.

“Last year was a really weird dynamic… we really didn’t have a connection with our coach,”  Rushing said.

Shyrah Schisler previously served as the head coach of the Wildcats.

“I’m not saying Coach S. was bad, we just needed a change,” senior defensive specialist Liz Puente said.

The 2018 volleyball team was under the lead of Coach Shyrah Schisler. The Wildcats finished the previous season conference 13-1, losing to Conway in the semi final round. This season, the Wildcats are under the lead of Cassie Lloyd, who was assistant coach to Schisler last year.

“This year is different, [Lloyd] is a mom, and she understands that we have other things going on besides volleyball,” continued Rushing. “We have a really good team bond.”

“It’s been really smooth, just because I was the assistant coach last year and already had previous relationships built with the girls,” Lloyd said. “This group of seniors, I’ve been with since they were sophomores.”

Lloyd elaborated upon the team’s spirit leading up the semi-final game.

“[Morale] is really high I would say,” Lloyd said.

Coach Lloyd described the adversity faced early in the season. The Wildcats kicked off the 2019 season 0-2, losing to Broken Arrow and Greenwood back to back.

In the second round of conference, the Wildcats lost to Bentonville.

“It was a little bit of a buy-in process,” Lloyd said.

Following the loss against Bentonville in the second round of conference, the Wildcats would go on to win 6 games in a row.

“Ending conference sweeping Fayetteville in 3 [matches], you can’t get higher morale than that,” Lloyd said.

The Wildcats played Southside on Oct.31 and lost 3-1 sets.