Netters come up short to Rams, 3-1
Tough setback in RRAC opener
SAGU finally comes home on Friday
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s volleyball team came up short in Tuesday night’s match with their Texas Wesleyan University rivals, falling 3-1 at the Sid Richardson Center. Literally.
In the opener of league play in the Red River Athletic Conference, the two teams battled fiercely before the height advantage of the host Lady Rams gradually spelled the difference. Wesleyan started and finished strong, winning game one, 25-12, and the fourth, 25-15. In between were pair of classics these teams are more accustomed to experiencing. TWU took a questionable game two, 28-26, before the Lady Lions rolled in the third, 25-19.
“Our ladies played hard and with heart,” said SAGU head coach Hansford Moore on the bus ride home. “We just didn’t play particularly well. Not nearly well enough against a team like Texas Wesleyan.”
Both SAGU and TWU have knitted teams with an influx of new additions. Understandably, each has struggled with consistency.
On the heels of a 2-0 weekend with conquests over winning opponents, the Lady Lions were surprisingly erratic at times. Combined with the taller Rams’ play down the stretch, it was enough to determine the outcome.
Then there was 'the call.'
Match turns on call reversal
Showing their mettle in game two, SAGU regrouped and fought like cornered badgers. They appeared to have evened the match at 1-1 with a 27-25 triumph on a huge play at the net.
Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) scorched a shot through a double-team of blockers on the left side of the net. The ball deflected off the Rams’ duo towards the center and was above the net when senior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) leapt and put it away, tapping the ball down for the winning point.
Several seconds later, while the Lady Lions were glad-handing the win, an official overturned the point, declaring Cisneros had gone over the net to make the play. The ruling was late and clearly questionable. But it stood. Wesleyan was awarded the point and the ball. A pair of mishandled serves later and it was the Lady Rams who were cheering a 28-26 triumph and a 2-0 match lead.
The Lions bounced back in the third set. Back to back kills by Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian); one a blast to the left corner, the second found a crease in the middle broke a 15-15 tie and propelled SAGU to a 19-15 advantage. A power spike by Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) a combo-block by Hudson and Cisneros and an ace from setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) finished off the hosts, 25-19.
It could’ve given SAGU a 2-1 match lead, but for the earlier call.
In the decisive fourth game, the Rams put together an 8-0 run for a 14-7 lead and cruised behind the power of 6-foot sophomore Katie Rosenbusch . TWU hit .393 in that game while making zero attack errors.
She led with a match-high 12 kills while hitting .323. Lynsay Buell and Meghan Finley added 11 and 10 kills for coach Christy Clawson’s TW Ewes.
Wesleyan outhit SAGU .196 to .083, holding a 50 to 41 edge in kills and making eleven less hitting errors than the Lions’ 30.
Lady Lions' Stat Cats
Southwestern made 80 digs, including several spectacular pancake saves by Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian), Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) and Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS). TWU salvaged just 56.
The Rams did, however, make more plays above the stringed mesh. They had two solo blocks and 22 assisted (or combo) blocks. SAGU totaled 3 solo and 10 by duos. Cisneros had two of the solos and three assisted rejections. Hudson and Cox each had two combo blocks for points.
Sodich and Hudson tied for the Lions’ lead in kills with 10 apiece. The former finished strong while Hudson didn’t make her first error until late in the third game. She had a match-high eight kills through the first two sets while hitting .471.
Cisneros added nine kills while Cox contributed six. Calverley racked up 36 assists, including a dozen in the third set win. Like a tireless miner, Espinoza stacked up 22 digs, while Calverley and Brown had 13 and Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian) stepped in and registered 10.
Brown and Calverley united for five of the Lions' seven serving aces.
Southwestern is now 7-8 overall and 0-1 in the RRAC, while Wesleyan is 7-9 and 1-0.
Home Sweet Home, Friday vs. Bacone
The Lady Lions, after beginning the 2011 season with 15 straight road matches, finally come home this Friday, September 23. They play host to Bacone College (3-8, 0-0) at 7:00pm in the Sheaffer Center.
First Volleyball Internet Broadcast next Tuesday
Next Tuesday (Sept. 27) they will entertain the University of Dallas in the first of six livestream broadcasts. The game is slated for 7:00pm, though the pre-game show comes on the air around 6:45pm.
SAGU Sports Live will air the match in HD, with Clay Scarborough and Tim Roberts making the call. Fans can access the venue on this website's home page by clicking on Watch SAGU TV. The broadcast is free.