V-Ball team at Kansas regional tourney
SAGU draws #2 seed in nine-team field
Cisneros leads Lady Lions in search of nationals berth
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Fresh after an exhilarating comeback win in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s volleyball team is travelling to Kansas to compete in what could be their final event of the season.
The Lady Lions stunned Texas Wesleyan University by winning the final three games after dropping the first two sets. Led by senior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS), who crushed a career-best 24 kills and hit .488, SAGU improved their record to 19-12 and advanced to play the nation’s #2 ranked team. Tourney host University of Texas at Brownsville (26-2) ousted SAGU in straight sets en route to winning the event the following day in a 3-1 verdict over Wiley College.
Southwestern travels to McPherson, Kansas to the campus of Central Christian College, who are hosting the venue. The event is the Central Region of the National Christian College Athletic Association, where the winner will earn a spot at the eight-team nationals in Orlando.
“We are very excited about the regional,” said veteran head coach Hansford Moore. “Our kids played well this past weekend and are ready to get after it!”
Odds favor his team too! They are the #2 seed in the nine-team field.
Colorado Christian University, who are in the NCAA’s Division II, are the top seed with a 15-15 record. The ratings are based on the Burbridge system, which considers strength of schedule as well as match results.
York College (Neb), from the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, bring a 20-12 mark as the three seed. Dallas Baptist University, another NCAA D-II team, is #4 at 16-15.
Other squads include #5 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (18-17), #6 Crowley’s Ridge College (Ark), #7 Mid-America Christian University (Ok) (5-25), #8 Southwestern Christian University (Ok) (12-16) and the host, #9 Central Christian College (Ks) (8-16).
The regional is a double-elimination tournament, with each match decided by the winner of best-of-five games.
Lady Lions and Evangels mix it up on Thursday
Southwestern’s first test is Thursday, November 17, when they tangle with MACU at 2:00pm. This will be their meeting against the Lady Evangels. SAGU won the first in straight sets and took the second, 3-1.
Should the Lady Lions get past Mid-America, they advance to a 10am clash on Friday against the survivor between #3 York and #6 Crowley’s Ridge. A triumph there would move them to a 4pm match, likely against the #1 seeded Colorado Christian. The regional finishes on Saturday.
SAGU comes into the tourney having won five of their last seven matches, and 12-of-17 since late September. During that stretch, their record in individual sets is an impressive 37-20.
Who to watch
Players to watch for include frontline attackers Cisneros, Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian), Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep). All have been playing at a high level in recent weeks.
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