Cats comeback clips Eagles, 3-2
Last-second rally caps "Mountain Do!"
SAGU tops John Brown for first-time
SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University rallied for a five-set upset of John Brown University in college volleyball on Friday night.
The Lady Lions, now 6-7, appeared bound for defeat in the fifth game. They trailed the host Golden Eagles 13-9 in the decisive set, which is played to 15. Then they came roaring back!
SAGU scored the game’s final three points to win the set, 17-15, which was livestreamed from the Ozark Mountains. Call the stunning rally, “Mountain Do!”
“Our kids played their hearts out,” exclaimed veteran head coach Hansford “Hank” Moore. The Lady Lions, who are meshing a host of new players this season, have already won three 5-set matches.
SAGU dropped the first game, 25-14, then won consecutive 25-23 battles. John Brown took the fourth, 25-21, and still had momentum when the Lions scored eight of the final ten points.
It was Southwestern’s first-ever defeat of John Brown, who entered the match with a 10-4 record. The Eagles swept the Lions in 2008 and 2010.
The Lady Lions won thanks to a defense that forced JBU into 32 hitting errors, even though SAGU was outhit .185 to .144. Nearly six players earned double-figures in digs, led by senior Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS), who had 28. The Purple Pride was determined to win.
Their serving game, which has struggled at times this season, hammered seven aces against only four errors. Added to that, the squad’s passing game committed just five miscues in five games.
Freshman Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian) had a huge performance, whacking 17 kills and hitting a team-best .222. Senior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) smashed 13 kills against just three errors, hit .217, and had a total of seven blocks at the net, six of them assisted. Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS), a 5’9 sophomore, had 17 digs, her second-best career effort.
Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep), bagged 48 assists and registered 13 digs. Junior Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) and Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian), a senior, pounded three and two aces respectively.
John Brown’s Erin Didier led all players with a season-high 26 kills.
Lions tangle with OKWU Eagles on Saturday
SAGU returns to the court on Saturday afternoon in Bartlesville, Oklahoma for a 2:00pm clash with another Eagles team, this one from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. OKWU, 10-6, crushed Haskell on Friday, 25-23, 25-15 and 25-0, their fourth triumph in five matches. Another road win will give Southwestern a 7-7 mark in non-conference matches, all away from home.
The Lions begin league competition on Tuesday when they face Texas Wesleyan University. The match in Fort Worth will be played in the Sid Richardson Center, starting at 7:00pm.