Lexi Allen may have tennis arm.
Tennis players so frequently use their dominant arm in their sport and they build up out-of-proportion muscle to the point of visibility.
One can’t easily tell the difference in the size of Allen’s right arm compared to her left, but the Meeteetse volleyball hitter said it might as well be.
“I feel it is, though,” Allen said after the Lady Longhorns bested Burlington last Friday night to remain undefeated.
Meeteetse topped the Lady Huskies 25-18, 25-19, 25-21 on the road to lift its record to 14-0-1.
The Huskies were on a heavy receiving dose of Allen’s skills and kills, which seemed more likely to bore holes in the gym floor than be returned for volleys.
The sizzling hot Longhorns previously beat Burlington in four games, but wanted a sweep this time.
“It was kind of a goal to beat them in three,” Allen said. “We don’t want to lose even one set.”
Meeteetse played the type of defense that can demoralize an opponent, digging for balls that seemed likely to become points and keeping the ball alive from all angles of the court.
Allen, Delanie Salzman, Bryce Salzman, Sammy and Abby May, Mia May, Amanda Cooley and Kiana Horsen kept whizzing balls back across the net, or sneaking in short shots at the net when least expected to disrupt the Huskies.
Those recovery hits led to crisp passing and sometimes easy returns of their own for points.
“We were playing good team defense,” Delanie Salzman said. “Our whole team does. It gives us time to use to feed (front line players).”
Usually in volleyball the front line is manned by taller players. Mia May seems to have found a niche up front because of her leaping ability.
Several times she interrupted Burlington returns with one-hand placement hits near the net that were impossible to return.
“I flow better when I’m at the net,” Mia May said. “I think we do a really good job receiving and keeping the ball alive.”
Coach Kelsey Scolari said such positioning and keeping the ball in play on defense have been points of emphasis in practice.
“They’re getting better all the time in getting into position to get the ball,” Scolari said.
Sometimes that means diving on the floor to tip a ball to a teammate and other times it means running off the court and hitting the ball blind back over their heads.
“They’ll get down and dirty,” Scolari said. “We work on that in practice keeping the ball alive.”
The Longhorns compete in the Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis Friday and Saturday.
“I am pleased,” Scolari said after putting away Burlington. “We get to go another weekend undefeated.”