Ozark Mountain Low: Netters Swept By JBU
Lady Lions Play Saturday Doubleheader
SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team made their first-ever visit to northwest Arkansas a short and forgettable one.
John Brown University, an NAIA school much the same size as SAGU, made quick work of the Lady Lions in a three set sweep, 3-0. The night before the team had faced another foe, Southern Nazarene, with practically the same enrollment as Southwestern, and met the same fate.
SNU won by a combined 75-51 score. Playing after a full night's rest in Siloam Springs, SAGU played better against better opposition, slipping 75-58. Two years ago the JBU Golden Eagles came to Waxahachie and left with a 3-2 victory.
The hosts took Game One in the Murray Sells Arena by a 25-19 before grabbing a 2-0 lead following a 25-18 win in Game Two. The Eagles had enough in the tank to hold off a resilient Lady Lions squad in Game Three, 25-21.
Assistant "Coach Speak"
"It was real tough match," said Meredith Wendel, first year Assistant Coach. "We came out fighting. We just couldn't put all the pieces together often enough to win."
The Golden Eagles hit a combined .233 in the match, making 43 kills out of 116 attempts. They committed 16 hitting errors. Conversely, SAGU was 34 of 127 with 18 errors, which totaled .126. Subtract all attacking errors and their hitting percentage would have been .268. They hit less than .060 at SNU.
The Lions united to make four solo blocks and two assisted blocks. An area that is normally a strength, serving, suffered on Friday. They had one ace, which was more than offset by six service errors.
Team Lioness Player Stats
Senior middle hitter Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) produced well for Team Lioness. She swung at a .269 clip, converting 26 tries into a match-high 11 kills against four errors. She made 18 defensive touches at the net and one solo block. Junior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS), who has performed consistently all year, hit .238 with 8 kills. She also had two blocks and 17 touches.
Senior libero Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) was one of three teammates who shared team honors in digs with seven. Briggs was 13-of-13 in passing, served for a team-best six points and fired SAGU's only ace. Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) and Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) both had seven digs, with Espinoza making good on 11-of-12 passes. Hudson was a perfect 8-of-8 with bumps to teammates. She added five kills and a pair of solo rejections. Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) contributed nine kills but was held to .077 hitting.
Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) filled a stat sheet. She graded 100% in passing, with all 18 being on-target. Brown led the team in digs with 17, assisted on a block, made one kill and three assists.
The current RRAC Setter of the Week, Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) finished with 25 assists (8.3 per game) and registered four defensive digs.
Golden Eagles Top Hitter Stifled by SAGU
The Golden Eagles were paced by Allie Rankin's power outing. The team's third best attacker, she turned 17 swings into 10 kills while making a lone error for a .529 match. Their most feared hitter, Erin Didier, was held in check. She went 24-7-5 (attempts-kills-errors) for an .083 effort. Setter Alyssa Hanson "M-Bopped" the Lady Lions on 39 assists.
It was JBU's 12th sweep of the fall season. John Brown is now 16-10. The Eagles compete in the Sooner Athletic Conference, where they are in 5th with a 4-4 league mark.
Southwestern fell to 12-12. The young Lions were 19-5 after 24 matches last season. They have been defeated in 3-game sweeps five times so far. A year ago they fell by 3-0 just four times in 40 matches, with two of them happening at the NCCAA Nationals.
Ernie Banks: "Let's Play Two"
SAGU is scheduled to play twice on Saturday, October 16. They are involved in a triangular meet in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The Purple Pride will meet RRAC foe, Bacone College, at 11:00am in their home gym, the Palmer Center. Afterwards, Southwestern takes on McPherson College (Kansas) at 1:30pm.
Southwestern is on the road next week as well. They play Huston-Tillotson University at 7:00pm on October 22, then face the University of St. Thomas in Houston the next day at 1:00pm.