V-Ball Lions Tuning Up for Conference Season
Head Coach Hank Moore is Reloading
Depth and Balance are SAGU Assets
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- After the volleyball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University went 1-3 over the weekend against four NCAA Division III teams, veteran head coach Hank Moore was optimistic about his team’s chances of having another successful season.
The Lady Lions record is 5-7, which is fourth in the current standings in the 10-team Red River Athletic Conference.
“We are playing some very good volleyball,” Moore observed. “Our team is deep at many positions. We have been playing three outside hitters in our rotation. Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS), Amanda Laney (New Braunfels, Tx / New Braunfels Academy) and Jessica Sodich (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS). All three have been playing well."
"Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) are both playing at a high level. But our real strength is our defense,” he said.
Southwestern has now put together an impressive string of winning records during the regular season that was extended to six straight years in 2010. Coach Moore reloads instead of having to rebuild.
This fall his SAGU team has such a deep cast that his talented reserves are almost indistinguishable from the starters. It allows strategic moves and situational line-ups unseen on less gifted teams. Case in point:
“This past weekend we played a "big" line up with three middle hitters,” Coach Moore explained. “Jessie Giese (Tulsa, Ok / Union HS) played extremely well.”
“(Additionally), we played a 6-2 offense that allowed us to play both setters; Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) and Carleigh Dollar (Brock, Tx / Brock HS). Carleigh did a great job and will see more playing time.”
Senior Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian) attended her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration over the weekend. Moore then shifted Devan Guynes (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) and Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) into that spot.
“Both of them executed at a high level,” he continued. “This weekend (at the Austin College Classic) allowed us to play 13 players. We can operate that deep in our line-up without a drop off, which is very exciting!”
The Ohio native will continue evaluating players this week as the team prepares for their last two matches before the start of conference play.
How does Coach Moore assess the RRAC this fall as it relates to the Lady Lions position?
“Our conference will be very good again,” he said. “We will be in the mix of the top 2 to 5 teams in the Red River.” That is a position that he has grown accustomed.
Lastly, Coach Moore addressed the play of Cisneros, the 5’11 senior. She is second on the team in kills, with 108, an average of 2.3 kills per set. She easily leads in blocks with 66, where she is swatting an average of 1.4 shots per game.
“Krystal is one of the best defensive middles in our conference, says Moore. “She has become a very consistent offensive player as well (currently hitting .231). We do not have one hitter who has to do everything.”
“This team is balanced. That will be our strength this year. Balance.”
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