SAGU falls in straight sets to SNU
Trio of Seniors shine against Storm
Cisneros, Brown and Espinoza closing solid careers in style
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Senior middle blocker Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) had her second best hitting match of the season, though it wasn’t enough for the host Lady Lions. Southwestern Assemblies of God University fell in straight sets to 34th ranked Southern Nazarene University (Okla).
The Crimson Storm won for the 14th time in 15 matches to increase their record to 27-5. They have now swept seventeen teams, taking Saturday afternoon’s sets 25-20, 25-14 and 26-24. Southwestern, 16-12, had won 9-of-12 entering the match.
SAGU stood fearless against a squad that was taller and formidable at the net.
The Lady Lions hit .150 against the Storm, racking up 37 kills against 17 errors. SNU swung .238, collecting 44 spikes for points with only 13 errors. The area that revealed more quality was in digs, where SNU held only a 71-70 margin, and in blocks. The Storm had zero solo blocks and 10 assisted blocks, while SAGU had zero and eight.
Southwestern gave them all they could handle in the first and third games, hitting .231 and .234. SNU withstood a valiant Lions effort but would not wilt down the stretch in any of the three sets. They hit .314 in the first and .302 in the second. They kept the Purple Pride from overtaking them by contesting most every attack with a double-team at the point of aggression.
Cisneros did her part, whacking nine kills in 16 attempts (.500) with a lone hitting error. She added a pair of block assists and currently ranks #22 in the NAIA in blocks per game.
Freshman Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla HS) pounded eight kills and recorded eight digs. Junior Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) added six kill shots to go along with 12 digs and a service ace.
Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) fired six kills as well and was credited with a pair of assisted blocks. Amanda Laney (New Braunfels, Tx / New Braunfels Christian) had five kills.
Senior defensive specialist Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian) was cited by head coach Hank Moore for her game, which included two kills, a team-high 17 digs as well as dishing out two assists. Brown left it all on the court while displaying a "take no prisoners" work ethic.
Sophomore setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) racked up 33 assists, an 11.0 average, in the match. She also had eight scoops.
Senior libero Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) made 14 digs, handling some powerful blasts without flinching. Espinoza is one of only three players to reach double-figures in digs per match, doing it 25 times in 28 tries. She has eclipsed 20 or more digs on 11 occasions. Currently she had been in double-digits in digs in 10 straight matches.
Devan Guynes (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) is courageously battling through a nagging leg injury. As the nation’s 40th best at triggering grenades from the back row, she fired two more service aces for SAGU. She now has 43 on the season, comparing favorably with last year’s leaders in serving. Brown led with 44 while Espinoza blazed 40.
For the day, which included a 3-1 triumph over Mid-America Christian University at midday, Espinoza topped the team with 32 digs, followed by Brown with 29. Calverley and Hudson were credited with 20. Calverley also packed 73 assists in seven sets.
Hudson led in kills, finding the floor 19 times in the two matches. Sodich spanked 18, Cisneros 15, Cox 14 and Laney 11.
SNU was led by Kaylee Piatt’s 34 assists, 11 digs, four aces and three assisted blocks. Jamie Hope was even more impressive, hitting .586. She had 29 attempts at the net for kills, converting 17 into points while not making a single error. She added five combo blocks.
Final Homestand on Friday, Saturday
Southwestern returns to the court next weekend with another pair of home tilts, both of which will be aired in high definition by SAGU Sports Live. On Friday night, November 4, the Lady Lions will host Houston’s University of St. Thomas (17-15) in a match that could determine who finishes in fourth place in the Red River Athletic Conference. The two are tied with 4-4 conference marks.
The following afternoon, SAGU hosts New Mexico’s University of the Southwest (4-21, 3-4 RRAC) at 1pm. The regular season finale will be the swan song for seniors Cisneros, Espinoza and Brown, who will be honored prior to the match with the Lady Mustangs.