News

Lady Lions Improve to 15-12; in Houston tonight

AUSTIN, Texas -- Powered by a front-line duo that combined to make 16 kills and against a single hitting error, Southwestern Assemblies of God University swept Huston-Tillotson University in women's volleyball on Friday night, three games to nil. The win improved SAGU to 15-12 overall and 6-3 in the Red River Athletic Conference.

The league win keeps Southwestern within one game of second place with only two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Lady Lions took the three sets, 25-12, 25-17 and 25-16. They wasted little time in putting away the Lady Rams, who remain winless in the RRAC. In Game One the team hit .483, turning 29 swings into 16 kills while committing just two mistakes. In contrast, HTU's attack line produced an .074 attack.

In Game Two the Lions hit just .188, but much of that credit went to the Rams' resistance, which was evident in a number of blocks and digs. SAGU polished off the match when they swatted 11 kills and hit .320 in Game Three.

Combined they hit .337 as a unit while limiting Tillotson to .129. A team's hitting percentage in volleyball is akin to a baseball team's batting average, with the numbers about them same. Hitting .337 in baseball would be considered incredible.

Standout Performers

Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), the tallest players on the team, played a highly efficient brand of volleyball that is making them a force to be reckoned with. The former has enjoyed a superb season from the outset, while the freshman from East Texas has developed a ferocious power spike and a skillful block. 

Cisneros, at 5-foot-11, had 14 attempts that were good for eight kills. She made zero errors to finish with a .571 match. The six-foot Cox racked up impressive numbers. She registered eight kills in 17 tries with just one error (.412).

Cox totaled five blocks; one solo and four assisted rejections to lead both teams. Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) is as steady as a locomotive. The senior, also 5'11, smashed 11 kills, hit .276 and assisted on four blocks.

Feeding the need for kills at the net was freshman Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep), who set up attackers with 28 assists. She also made six digs. Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) added a pair of assists, eight digs and delivered four kills in just eight strokes!

Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS), whose play is similar to that of a sweeper in soccer, shortstop in baseball or a free safety in football, keyed the defense with seven digs. Along with Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS), Briggs served up two aces as SAGU had an 8-2 advantage over the Rams in firing untouchables. Four others had a single ace.

Hudson made five kills and tied Brown with a team-high eight digs. Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) chipped in with six digs.

Lady Lions Hope for Rocketown Blast-off

Southwestern travelled overnight to Houston for their next match. The Lady Lions face the University of St. Thomas (15-10) at 7:00pm. Led by All-American hitter Lauren Poe, the Celts (pronounced Kelts) won their first eight matches this season.

SAGU defeated them in Waxahachie last month, 3-2. The two teams split last season; Southwestern winning at home, 3-0, before UST won in H-Town, 3-2.

Big Conference Clash Goes to UT-Brownsville

Regarded by many as the top two squads in the Red River this season, the University of Texas at Brownsville and Wiley College met Friday night in Marshall. While the Wildcats did manage to take one game, UTB rolled easily in the others for a 3-1 triumph.

The Lady Scorpions, ranked #5 nationally, suffered their only loss last week in a tournament in Savannah, Georgia. Second-ranked Lee University (Tenn) thumped them 3-1 in four strongly-contested games. UTB's Arlene Ferreira, last year's RRAC Player of the Year, transferred to the Lee Flames (24-0), where she is leading them in kills. Two-time defending national champion Fresno-Pacific remains the top ranked team at 21-0.

Red River Race Appears for Second Place

While UTB (25-1, 11-0) is living in the high-rent district of the conference, the other tenants appear to be battling for second place. It is possible the NAIA could grant an at-large berth to the runnerup at next month's national tournament.

Our Lady of the Lake (8-3 overall, 6-2 in RRAC) has enjoyed a great season. The Lady Saints currently reside in second, three and one half games behind the Scorpions. Southwestern has moved up to third after Friday's games. Wiley (14-8, 6-4) and Texas Wesleyan (13-15, 6-4) are tied for fourth.

Southwestern enters the final two weeks of the regular season with a great shot at finishing second. They could also slide as low as fifth. They play the other four teams over the next two weeks, with three of them coming to the Sheaffer Full Life Center. 

The top six teams qualify for the RRAC tournament, held in Fort Worth over November 11-13. The top two teams receive a first round bye.

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