Volleyball Netters Restore the Roar in Tyler
SAGU Sweeps Three Teams in Tyler Tourney
TYLER, Texas -- They haven't become Southwestern Assemblies of God University's winningest team without a sweat.
The Lady Lions volleyball team, with five consecutive campaigns of 20 of more wins, and finishing over .500 in eight of head coach Hank Moore's nine seasons, began the 2010 season by falling three times in four matches.
Saturday, however, was another day.
Reloading and blending a new attack with six freshmen, Moore's unit entered a tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Tyler, which benefits the Mother Frances Health System. SAGU swept three opponents, going 3-0 against the likes of Concordia University (Austin, Tx), UT-Tyler and Texas College. The trifecta lifted Southwestern's record to 4-3, easing some of the frustration of a pair of five-set losses last week.
The Lady Lions calmed the Tornados in the first match with scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-16. Then came a ferocious battle with the host UT-Tyler Patriots that nearly left both teams gasping for air. SAGU won by the slimmest of margins in all three games; 26-24, 25-23 and 26-24.
Going against a conference foe in Texas College, the 'Cats wasted little time, cruising thrice; 25-14, 25-16 and 25-9.
A statistical report from the tournament will be posted later on Sunday, with photos added on Monday.
All-American Middle Hitter, Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS), returned to the court after missing a week, and didn't appear rusty from the time off. Perhaps it was her family's home-cooking. The senior is from nearby *Whitehouse (see note below), just ten miles south of the Rose City.
Toole was leading the Red River Athletic Conference, unofficially, heading into the tournament. Her 4.4 kills per game was tops in the league, but she had appeared in just 10 of the team's first 19 sets. The NAIA requires that for players to qualify for statistical honors, they must play in a minimum of 66.7% of their team's sets.
Tuesday: SAGU at Texas Wesleyan
Southwestern returns to the court on Tuesday, September 7, with their first conference game of the year. They will tangle with their rivals from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth in a 7:00pm best-of-five dual. The two teams split their two meetings in 2009. The Lady Rams are off to a solid start at 5-4, after defeating a good University of St. Thomas team, 3-0, in Houston on Saturday.
The schedule doesn't ease up for SAGU. They travel to Sherman play in a tournament hosted by Austin College on Friday and Saturday, September 10-11. The last of three early-season tune-up tourneys will see the Lady Lions playing four teams in 30 hours. Sherman is 90 miles north of Waxahachie.
*The city received its name over a century ago by railroad engineers who stopped near a white-washed community building during early settlement times. The visual landmark led to their name.