Wiley tops Lady Lions in three
Hudson, Cisneros stand tall in setback
SAGU plays at Texas College on Saturday
MARSHALL, Texas -- The women’s volleyball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University got off to a good start on the road before yielding to Wiley College, 3-0. The Lady Wildcats (14-7, 4-1 in RRAC) swept the best-of-five match with scores of 25-20, 25-11 and 25-19.
The Lady Lions, now 14-11 overall, are sixth in the Red River Athletic Conference with a 3-4 mark. It was their third loss in a row. Remaining in East Texas, the squad will take on Texas College (4-17, 0-6 in RRAC) in Tyler. The best-of-five match in the Gus F. Taylor Gymnasium starts at 1:00pm.
Facing a talented and rebuilt Wiley team that was inspired by a vocal home crowd, SAGU stood up to the challenge, especially in the first game.
“We played well in sets one and three,” head coach Hansford Moore said on Friday night. “They (Wiley) are a very good team.”
While the two schools have played some fierce matches in recent years, the Wildcats have now opened a 7-2 series advantage since 2008. It was their third consecutive sweep of SAGU after the Lady Lions defeated them, 3-2, in the Sheaffer Center early last fall. Under coach Nancy Sikobe (seh-KO-bee) they have a 25-12 advantage in the individual games during those nine matches.
The Wildcats have seven international players, six from South America. They combined to hit a sizzling .380, which must’ve seemed other-worldly compared to SAGU’s .090. It was their fourth lowest hitting effort of the season.
Against a Wildcats club that racked up 16 combo blocks at the net, Southwestern’s rotation of five on the frontline were held in check. Only two finished with a positive hitting percentage, and both of them did well.
Hudson, Cisneros shine
Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) led with eight power spikes for points. The 5-foot-10 junior swung a .217 attack average, had four digs and one of the team’s four assisted blocks. Along with Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian), they are the team's most consistent power brokers at the net.
Senior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) was back in action after missing several weeks due to an ankle injury. The 5’11 middle blocker hit .200 with four kills. Cisneros made the team’s lone solo block and added a combo rejection as well.
The defense of the Wildcats held SAGU’s other three to 11 combined kills and 13 errors.
Gold Diggers topped by Wildcats
SAGU’s strength of all-out hustle and defense, evidenced by their annual high-ranking in digs, was topped in Marshall. Wiley held a 51-33 margin defensive digs as four players had nine digs apiece. That’s considerable considering that Coach Moore’s team entered the match as the #3 ranked team in the nation in digs per game.
Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS), at #34 in the country in digs, still found a way to lead the team with 11. Besides Hudson’s four, only Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian) and Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) had more than two, with the duo each racking up six. Calverley added 23 assists.
Kenyan "kills" Lady Lions
SAGU hit .243 in the first game, but the Wildcats rallied for a come-from-behind 25-20 triumph while hitting .467. The Lions were minus .143 in set two, before regrouping in the third with a .100 effort. Wiley hit .440 and .270 in those games.
Ingrid Mosguera (Cali, Colombia) had 11 kills in 17 attacks during a .647 performance. Magda Santos (Cuiaba, Brasil) had a match-high 12 kills in 23 attempts, capping a .391 night. Darly Castillo (Cali, Colombia), a veteran under Sikobe, contributed eight kills and hit .375.
Perhaps the star of the night was Susan Tsisiche , a 5-foot-10 native of Kakamega, Kenya. Limited to only 11 tries, which was fifth in the number of attempted kills, she made the most of them, whacking nine spikes. She hit .727, thanks in large part to the 40 assists of Eileen Burbano (Cali, Colombia).
Final four matches at home, all broadcasted live
Saturday’s match against Texas College will be the final road match of the fall for the Lady Lions, who have 21 of their 30 matches away from Waxahachie. The next two weeks will see them host four opponents, all broadcast in HD on SAGU Sports Live.