V-Ball team is on the road again
Coach Moore addresses home fans and livestreaming of matches
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team will be on the road this weekend. The tightly-knitted team is practically "at home" when out of town.
Veteran head coach Hansford "Hank" Moore annually forges his squad at tournaments where players build community and develop chemistry. The 2011 Lady Lions are no exception, having played their first 15 games away from the friendly confines of the Sheaffer Full Life Center.
SAGU, 9-8 in all matches, are 1-1 in the Red River Athletic Conference. They will face Huston-Tillotson University (1-13, 0-1 RRAC) in Austin on Friday night at 6:30pm. Saturday will pit them against the newest member in the league, Houston’s University of St. Thomas (9-5, 1-0).
The Lady Lions have split with the Celts (pronounced Kelts) in each of the past two seasons, where home court advantage was a critical factor. Three years ago the netters swept all three meetings, including once in an early-season tournament.
Fans: Energizing Purple!
This past week saw the Lady Lions come home for a pair of matches. Fueled by huge crowds in the Sheaffer Center, SAGU swept both Bacone College and the University of Dallas, 3-0.
“Playing at home in front of these two great crowds has been overwhelmingly incredible,” praised Coach Moore. “We have the best fans in our conference!”
“I sat down to watch the video from our last match. It was crazy! Down 8-0 (in the third set), we got one point and the crowd went wild! I watched our crowd carry us on a 25-9 run (in a 25-17 win),” he continued. “They were into every point! They (even) had faces painted. The students were huge for our team at both of our home matches.”
Southwestern fans are often called the most vocal as well as the largest in terms of attendance.
According to Coach Moore, the influence of the team’s supporters is known outside of Waxahachie. “They are the reason we have a hard time getting teams to come play here. Their reputation is amazing,” bragged the native of the Buckeye State, who knows a thing or two about rabid fans.
SAGU Sports Live adds volleyball to the menu
Tuesday’s home dual against the University of Dallas was the first-ever volleyball match livestreamed from the Sheaffer Center, a special happening not lost on Coach Moore.
“After several years of not having our team on SAGU broadcast, to (finally) have the matches broadcasted was a major blessing. My family (in Ohio), who had never seen me work, saw a SAGU volleyball match for the first time. What a blessing,” quipped the veteran coach. “We have players whose parents got to watch their children play college volleyball.”
The benefit of airing home dates has added advantages.
“It will have an impact on our program in many ways,” Moore continued. The high definition broadcasts will impact recruiting greatly. “When talking with a (prospective) recruit and their parents, we are able to inform them that they will be able to watch their daughter play through the internet! That will be a big help to us.”
Cutting edge in communications
SAGU Sports Live, under John Cookman , the Director of Media Services, uses cutting edge technology and equipment that few, if any schools in the NAIA currently employ. The high quality visuals and graphics, along with numerous cameras, helps viewers receive a televised event that is far superior to that of most small colleges.
A team of SAGU students handle all of the technical components, camera-work, as well as producing, managing, editing in addition to doing live and pre-recorded interviews.
This year, for the first time, a student is a main part of the broadcast team. Tim Roberts is the color analyst for both football and volleyball this fall.
Clay Scarborough, an educator in Waxahachie and former Sports Information Director and assistant baseball coach at SAGU, is the host of the show and the play-by-play announcer.
The livestreaming of select home games is accessible to fans at www.sagu.edu by clicking on the Watch SAGU TV button on the home page. For the third straight season, this programming remains cost-free to fans.