Cisneros leads V-Ball team as post-season awards announced
Calverley, Cisneros earn All-Region
SAGU prepares to make a run at 10-team nationals
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The excitement of another winning season is nearing an end with the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s volleyball team advancing to the NCCAA Nationals for the fifth time since 2005. Recognition of their continued achievements has already begun in the form of awards.
It’s been stated that even the mosquito doesn’t get a pat on the back until it starts working.
The same is true for members of the Lady Lions, who have now racked up seven straight winning records during the regular season. They have also qualified for the six-team post-season tournament in the Red River Athletic Conference in all eight years since joining the league.
During the regular season the Lady Lions went 18-12 (.600) overall and were 63-45 (.583) in individual sets. SAGU finished in a three-way tie for fourth among the 10 teams in the Red River.
Eight players in purple and gold were honored by the RRAC and three were recognized by the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Central Region. Red River teams are all members in Division I of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Chief among those to be toasted was senior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS). The 5’11 middle blocker was named to the RRAC All-Conference First Team for the second year in a row.
Cisneros (SISS-nair-ohs) was one of four on the team with over 200 kills (207) this fall, though she is most often noticed for her presence at the net. She rejected 102 shots, ranking third in the RRAC and 35th in the nation. She also hit .235, which led the team’s five frontline performers and was 8th in the RRAC. Only one teammate did better in terms of accuracy of scoring points with hits over the net.
There were 14 members on the First Team, with Cisneros one of only five to repeat their feat.
UT-Brownsville and Wiley College, the class of the RRAC, had six and three players chosen by the league’s voting coaches. For the entire All-Conference list, click on the RRAC icon and then on volleyball.
Three Lady Lions made the Second Team, including a pair of sophomores; Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep), Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and freshman Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian).
Calverley was fourth in the RRAC in assists per set, averaging 9.1. Her .319 hitting was best on the team, while she was also third in serving aces (21) and in digs (2.6 per gm). At 5’10, she managed to block 40 shots, which was tied for fourth on the squad.
Cox reached double figures in kills nine times during the regular season, five in the opening 10 matches. The six-footer was third in kills (218) and hitting percentage (.234), which was 9th best in the league. Only Cisneros had more blocks than her 76.
A true freshman outside hitter, Sodich (SO-ditch) led SAGU in kills (273), averaging 2.5 per game. She was fourth in aces (17) and digs (1.8 per gm). Eleven times she racked up double-digits in kills, tied for tops on the team, with one stretch early in the season where the 5’9 leaper made 10 or more in 5-of-8 matches. She was 16th in the conference (.185) in hitting percentage.
Two Lady Lions were listed on the Honorable Mention list; senior libero Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) and junior outside hitter Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS).
Espinoza didn’t make the grade in spite of scooping up 4.9 digs per game, which rated #2 in the conference and 39th nationally. Her consistency shone brightly as she was in double-figures in 27 of 30 regular season contests.
Hudson was second in kills with 229, second in aces (30), and second in digs (2.7 per gm). She tied Sodich for first in double-digit efforts with 11, including six-of-eight matches in one stretch during mid-season. She was fourth in blocks (40) and was second only to Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian) in serving accuracy at .945. Brown was the best at .953.
Additionally, two members of the squad were listed as the school’s best representatives of the NAIA’s values as Champions of Character. Tina Brown and Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian). Brown, a defensive specialist, is a senior tri-captain while Kirk, a junior, was chosen as an outside hitter.
The NCCAA’s All-Central Region picks had a pair of Lady Lions on the First Team in Cisneros and Calverley, with Sodich making the second squad.
Congratulations, atta-boys and pats-on-the-back are in order for those chosen for their athletic efforts and example on the hard-court.