Volleyball Lions Bested by #5 Ranked UTB
Toole, Briggs, Brown lead inspired effort
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Meeting the nation’s #5 ranked University of Texas at Brownsville on the road is a handful. For a young Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s volleyball team, playing with little rest, the odds were stacked against them. But the Lady Lions fought admirably before falling 3-0 in the best-of-five match.
UTB, 16-0 overall and 6-0 in the Red River Athletic Conference, took the first game by a 25-9 count. It was the only time in over 70 games this season that SAGU was held under 10 points. The Lady Lions contended much better in the next two sets before the Scorpions surged late to win, 25-13 and 25-15.
The talented UTB team lost their top two hitters from last year’s 34-3 club, including Arlene Ferriera, the RRAC’s Most Valuable Player and Val Caboclo (they transferred to #2 ranked Lee University/Tenn). But the conference’s largest school (18,000 enrolled) recruited international players to take their place and now have five players over six-feet tall.
Giving Credit Where It Is Due
“UTB is that good,” SAGU head coach Hansford Moore said afterwards. “But I could not be prouder of our team’s effort. Our kids played their guts out. We were a bit tired and overmatched in this one.”
Southwestern traveled 220 miles on Friday to face Our Lady of the Lake University (7-1 and 5-1 in the RRAC) in San Antonio at 6pm. The Lady Lions fell to the Saints, then hit the road for 250 miles that night. With a short rest, they faced UTB at 1pm on Saturday. The results against such opponents were fairly predictable.
“Both UTB and OLLU teams were outstanding,” Moore continued. “Our Lady should be ranked in the Top 25. We played extremely hard in sets 2 and 3 (narrow losses), but they (OLLU) were very good.”
The Scorpions were as good as advertised, hitting .315 in the match. They had 111 swings (attempts to hit the ball across the net), with 44 kills counting for points. They made only nine hitting errors (balls in the net or out of bounds). Conversely, the valiant Lady Lions stroked 18 kills with 17 errors.
She Has All the Right Tools
Southwestern was led by middle hitter, Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS). The senior and reigning RRAC attacking and kills per set champ, hit .292. The All American made 8 kills in 24 attempts with a lone error. She also registered a pair of blocks.
Six-foot-one freshman Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) was the only other player with more than two kills. She had five in 19 tries against just two errors. She made three defensive digs. Hitting over or between the UTB front wall is quite an undertaking. Going through is not advised.
Other noteworthy statistics by SAGU
Senior libero Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) had team highs in digs (11), service points (5) and aces (2). Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) was a perfect 15-for-15 in passing, had six digs and made contact with 10 opposing kill attempts at the net.
Junior Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) also had six digs and was 7-of-7 in the passing game, and now grades at 92% in that category for the season.
Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) was credited with 14 assists and four digs. Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS) cashed in with three service points, three digs and was 8-of-9 with her passes. Devan Guynes (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) added three kills and a 6-of-6 passing effort.
Junior Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) had a team high 17 touches at the net, and has reached double figures in that category in 17 of the team’s 19 matches. Sophomore Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) had five digs, fourth best on the squad.
Three Game Homestand Next Weekend
The team has off until next weekend, when they play three home matches in less than 24 hours.
On Friday night they play host to Wiley College at 7:00pm. On Saturday, October 9, they welcome Dallas Christian College to the Sheaffer Full Life Center for an 11:00am match. Texas College visits the FLC at 4:00pm.
Wiley (10-6, 3-2) has been a power in the Red River in recent seasons, and should provide a solid test for SAGU on Friday night. The Wildcats were 32-8 two years ago and posted a 21-5 mark in 2009. The competition between the two has proven fierce over that time, with the ‘Cats holding a 5-1 advantage. Their edge in games is closer at 17-9. Twice they edged SAGU in five.
Current Red River Athletic Conference Standings
|TEAM||MASCOT||LOCATION||CONFERENCE RECORD||OVERALL RECORD|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||Saints||San Antonio, TX||5-1||7-1|
|Wiley College||Wildcats||Marshall, TX||3-2||10-6|
|Texas Wesleyan Univ||Rams||Ft Worth, TX||3-2||10-12|
|Bacone College||Warriors||Muskogee, OK||1-3||3-15|
|Texas College||Steers||Tyler, TX||1-4||3-16|
|Huston-Tillotson Univ||Rams||Austin, TX||0-7||0-18|
Check back on Monday for added photos.
For more statistics on SAGU, visit RedRiverConference.com.