by: Taylor Voight

October 24th, was the day that the top eight teams in the North and South Arkansas Freshman Volleyball Conference, battled it out for first place. Representing the North was Central Jr. High, Southside High, Bentonville High school, and one of our connecting schools: Rogers High School. Representing the South was Chaffin Jr. High, Greenwood High school, Ramsey Jr. High, and Van Buren High school. The tournament was held at Chaffin Jr. High  and Ramsey Jr High in Fort Smith. Each team was to represent their school in the ultimate final battle for first place of the Region. In the first round of bracket play Chaffin played Bentonville high school. The teams held their own however it was Chaffin who took the victory, sending Bentonville home for the rest of the day. On the other court we had Greenwood vs Rogers in one of the closes games in history. Greenwood scored a point, then Rogers, then back to Greenwood. In the end Greenwood overcame those mountaineers and continued on, sending Rogers back home. Next it was Central taking on Van Buren, although they tried Van Buren just couldn’t defeat the hard hitting Central team. Central advanced sending those VB dogs home. Our last match of the first round was between Southside and Ramsey Jr. High. Again the teams fought hard, you could feel the intensity from the bleachers. Southside pulled ahead and finished strong defeating Ramsey. With that the first round is over. Four teams are already eliminated and four remain: Chaffin Jr. High, Greenwood High, Central Jr. High, and Southside J High school. It couldn’t be any more of an even fight with two from the North and two from the South! The semi- finals have begun: its Southwest vs. Chaffin. Who will win? The heart driven and goal achieving team or the tall, highly skilled and courageous team? They played with all their hearts knowing that the winner would move to the finals. It was Southside who took the win, taking Chaffin out of the race. While Southside celebrated, on the other court Central and Greenwood battled it out for that last spot into finals. Central brought out a strong lead of points, only to be caught up to by Greenwood later. Point after point the game intensified mentally for both teams, but who would win? Would it be the smart, “always diving for every ball” team? Or would it be the motivational “pushing themselves as far as they possibly can team”? Finally it was gamepoint, both teams soaked in sweat, tears, and determination. The last point is scored and the girls from Central celebrate in an eruption of gleeful screams. Central had won their spot in finals. As Greenwood and Chaffin pack their bags for the ride home, the Southwest and Central girls are warming up for the final match. This was the moment they have worked so hard for, all those sprints and burpees in practice have finally paid off. Everyone’s gone except for 2 teams, 3 refs, 4 scorekeepers, and the proud parents of both team. The game begins, point after point long plays are made from the determination of both teams. All you hear is the concentration of players until a point is made. Southside was heart driven for every point and every play they make. They work together as a team, putting trust in one another. Central played their smart game, keeping the other team on their toes and constantly worked hard for everything they did. They dived for every ball not letting one point stand in their way. However the game must end at some moment and a winner must be crowned. After so much work throughout the entire day it was Southside who took the title. Regional champs! Both teams were given a ceremony and medals. They tell each other “Good game!” smiling so bright, knowing they made it further than anyone else. Both teams will advance to the State competition. We wish them the best of luck and hope they place good representing Northwest Arkansas.