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Young Lions Preparing Conference Season

SHERMAN, Texas -- Led by two veteran frontline performers, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University womens volleyball team battled fiercely over the weekend at the 15th Annual Austin College Classic.

The Lady Lions, with Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) and Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) rising to the test, fought valiantly in an event that saw them come up short in all four matches. SAGU slipped to 4-8 on the season in a forgettable 0-5 week.

Coach Hansford Moore's troops were hamstrung with several critical injuries that forced the team to scramble its lineup. New setter, freshman Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep), was reinjured during a 41 assist effort in the tourney opener vs McMurry University. Moore moved senior libero Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) into the pivotal position, and she did yeoman's work with several all-around matches.

"Krystal played well all weekend," Moore summarized. "We are so close I can taste it. But, I have to admit, our record this week didn't taste that good. Stick with us to the end, because we're going to get there!"

Freshman Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) was idle thanks to a nagging shoulder injury. The 6-foot-1 attacker could miss a few more days.

UT-Tyler's Revenge

On Saturday, the Lions took on a resurgent University of Texas at Tyler team they had swept just a week ago. With a patchwork rotation, SAGU fell 3-0, losing 25-18, 25-15 and 25-21.

Jordy Briggs made a dozen digs as the setter, while libero Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) added 11. Toole, the league leader in kills per game, had 11 against the Patriots.

Fine Showing vs Austin College

The clear best team in the event were the hosts, who beat four teams and improved their season mark to 10-0. Austin College had to sweat it out versus the Lady Lions, who forced a deciding fifth set. The Kangaroos took Game One, 25-21, against Southwestern, who were wearing their blue-collar work helmets. The Lions knotted things at 1-1 with an outstanding show, whipping AC by a 25-13 verdict. SAGU administered their worst defeat in the 12-point triumph. Their other two defeats were by two-points. The Roos were 4-0 in their matches, winning 12 of 15 sets. Austin College regrouped to claim Game Three, 25-16.

Facing elimination, Team Lioness made AC sweat, before staking their claim with a gruelling  27-25 win. In the fifth, AC edged SAGU, 15-11. The Roos had a slight, 103-100 adavantage in the combined scores.

Toole and Cisneros were splendid in defeat. The former had 15 kills, 5 blocks and 17 service points. Cisneros hammered 15 kills and rejected 5 hits as well. However, SAGU lacked additional standouts at the net.

Briggs set the table with 44 assists and added 13 digs. Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) dusted the court while making 22 digs. Her passing game was near flawless, making 21 of 22 tries successfully. Brown served for 13 points, smoked four aces, had 10 digs, and passed perfectly on all 23 attempts.

Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS), taking advantage of her opportunity to step in, stepped up, totalling 7 kills and 3 service aces. Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) came up with a dozen digs.

'Cat Stats

During the tourney, Toole averaged 3.5 kills per set, getting 59 in the 17 sets. She also had 14 blocks. Cisneros added up 46 kills and 16 blocks. Cisneros is third in the RRAC in blocks per set, though her total of 44 is #1 in the league. Toole is ranks #6. In attacking percentage, Toole comes in at #7, Cisneros with Cox at #11. Briggs and digs are going together to the tune of 3.9 per game, keeping her atop the Red River. Espinoza (3.4) and Hudson (3.0) are also in the Top Ten.

On Deck, Dallas Christian on Monday

The Lady Lions return to action this week with their 12th road match. On Monday, September 13, they are in Richardson to take on Dallas Christian College at 7:00pm.

Home Sweet Home

They return to the friendly confines of Scheaffer Full Life Center on September 18 in a 5pm confrontation with Bacone College (2-12 overall). It will be their second league match in the Red River Athletic Conference. Last fall the Purple Pride went 28-12 and finished third in the RRAC with a 10-6 ledger.

AUSTIN COLLEGE TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Team Match W-L Record in Sets
Austin College 4-0 12-3
UT-Tyler 4-0 12-3
McMurry University 3-1 10-5
Univ of Mary Hardin-Baylor 3-1 9-4
Hardin-Simmons 3-1 9-4
Mid-America Christian (OK) 1-3 6-9
Southern University (LA) 1-3 4-9
Texas College 1-3 3-9
SAGU 0-4 5-12
Sull Ross State University 0-4 0-12
**Unless listed otherwise, teams are from Texas

 

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