Lady Lion Netters Stormed by Southern Naz
Watch Friday Night's Match Live from Arkansas
BETHANY, Oklahoma -- There's nothing like a road trip to cool your jets. After an impressive weekend in the friendly confines of the Sheaffer Full Life Center, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team traveled to face a steady winner in Southern Nazarene University on Thursday afternoon. The results were not kind to the Lady Lions, who were swept in three games.
The Crimson Storm took the first game by a 25-18 count. In Game Two, they widened their margin in a 25-16 triumph before finishing off Team Lioness with a 25-17 score.
Earlier this season (August 31) the Storm overcame a 2-0 deficit with an exciting 3-2 match win, where the largest margin in the five games was six points. Including today, SNU has won six games in a row against SAGU. Last year the two clubs split their two meetings.
Southwestern is now 12-11 overall and 37-30 in actual sets. SNU, on the heels of a three match, road losing streak, are now 16-11. They are 55-46 in games. Today's clash was non-conference.
They are members of the Sooner Athletic Conference, where they are currently in sixth place at 3-5. Oklahoma Baptist (19-7, 7-1) resides in first in the eight-team league. SAGU is 4-3 in the Red River Athletic Conference, tied in 4th with Texas Wesleyan (11-13, 4-3). The University of Texas at Brownsville sits in the catbird seat at 20-0 and 9-0.
The Crimson Storm made short work of the Purple Pride, finishing the match in just 71 minutes. SNU hit for a solid .262 in the three sets, racking up 41 kills against just 13 hitting errors. Conversely, the Lady Lions never hit over .100 in any of the three games, according to the SNU website. SAGU's final totals were a combined .053 hitting pct., making 22 kills against 17 errors.
"It was ugly," said SAGU head coach Hank Moore. "We played awful. Just one of those nights. There were no real bright spots to talk about. We just did not play well enough to compete. It was poor coaching and a poor performance. But we'll play better. One good thing, though," he added. "This match is over and tomorrow is a new day!"
"Against a team like Southern Naz," Moore explained, "if you do not bring your good stuff, they can make you look bad."
In Game One, the Lady Lions, as they did in each set, scored first. But it was the Crimson Storm who scored last. It was tight early, as SNU went up for a 12-8 lead. Their advantage swelled to 23-14. SAGU tried to rally behind three Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) assists on two kills by Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) and one by Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), but it was too late.
The Storm closed the game on a kill by Kira Roberts, thanks to a set from Taryn Steele, who had 31 assists in the match. Roberts and Morgan Loewen (pronounced LO-win) each registered 10 kills, with the former hitting a robust .421.
Game Two was typical SAGU in terms of fierce defense. They made the Storm work for their points by contesting every scoring bid with digs and a refusal to give up. The hosts would get the win, but not without a sweat. They couldn't break free until late, never leading by more than five.
Up by just 17-15 they finally escaped with a kill by Ellen Martin, which keyed an 8-1 clinching rally. In winning, 25-16, SNU would hit .229, swatting 13 kills while making five errors. Meanwhile, the Lady Lions would hit zeroes as five attacking errors offset their five kills.
Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) jumpstarted Team Purp in Game Three with back-to-back service aces for a quick 2-0 lead. Tied at 2's, the Lions regained the lead on a smash by Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS), but would soon fall behind by a 12-5 count. They would not recover. But they would not roll over either.
Southwestern twice sliced the deficit to three; 17-14 when Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) crushed a Calverley helper and 18-15 when Loewen was blocked by a Toole-Calverley double-team. A Lions serving error ignited an 8-1 run for Team Crimson in which Loewen had two kills and an ace.
Player Match Totals
Statistically, Southwestern has enjoyed better efforts. Toole still led with eight kills, hitting .118 (8-4-34 kills-errors-attacks). Hudson added six kills (6-3-15) on a night when she swung a .200 right arm. The only other member of the team to hit above .000 was Cisneros, with four kills (4-1-12), and a team best .250.
Calverley accounted for 16 assists and five digs. Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and Hudson made 11 and 10 digs, the only players from either side to reach double figures. Briggs also had two assists. Three players finished with four digs; Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS), Brown and Toole.
Brown had three of SAGU's six aces from the back row, though the team had four serving errors to nearly offset those positives. Overall, the squad struggled when receiving serves, making 11 errors.
Two Huge Matches for RRAC Teams; Wesleyan, UTB
SNU will be in Kansas on Friday to face Tabor College before returning home for a 2 o'clock clash with Texas Wesleyan.
In another RRAC headline match, #5 ranked UT-Brownsville (20-0) will meet the nation's #2 ranked Lee University (21-0) at 10am on Saturday in Savannah, Georgia. Two of the Scorpions top players transferred to Lee (Tenn.) at the end of last season.
Friday Night in the Oazark Mountains
The Lady Lions traveled 179 miles to Siloam Springs, Arkansas afterwards. The border town is just 25 miles from Fayetteville in NW Arkansas. SAGU will take on John Brown University on Friday night at 7:00pm. The Golden Eagles fell at Mid-America Christian on Thursday, 3-1. JBU is 15-10 overall and 4-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Fans may watch the match live on their Windows Media Player. To access the webcast, go to www.jbu.edu and their Athletics section and click on the icon.
Triangular Showdown on Saturday
Southwestern returns to Oklahoma for a Saturday doubleheader in Muskogee, a 55-mile trek from JBU. The Lady Lions are slated to meet Bacone College at 11:00am before tangling with McPherson College, of Kansas, at 1:30pm. Bacone (pronounced BAY-kone) is 4-18 for the season and 2-6 in the RRAC. They have dropped three straight on the road and 11-of-13 overall.
McPherson totes a 12-10 mark following a 3-2 home setback to Ottawa University (12-6) on Wednesday. The Lady Bulldogs recently won 7-of-8 matches.
SAGU remains on the road next week before returning home on October 2 to play Texas Wesleyan.