Volleyball Lions Win Fourth in a Row, Sweep Rams
Hudson, Toole, Calverley pace Team Effort
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Just 14 hours after an emotional, 5-set win over St. Thomas, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University womens volleyball team cruised to a methodical 3-0 sweep over Huston-Tillotson University on Saturday morning.
Coach Hansford Moore was able to play all twelve players on the SAGU roster as the Lady Lions evened their record at 8-8. The win extended the team's streak to four in a row, and upped their conference mark to 2-1. Southwestern trails only the University of Texas at Brownsville (14-0, 5-0) and Our Lady of the Lake University (6-1, 4-1), their next two opponents.
Texas Wesleyan University, who defeated SAGU in the first league game in the Red River Athletic Conference, 3-1, three weeks ago, is in fourth (10-11, 3-2 in the RRAC). Wiley College (9-6, 2-2), who has finished first or second in the past two seasons, lost at both UTB and OLLU over the weekend. The Wildcats are currently in fifth.
In whisking aside the winless Lady Rams in a match that lasted less than an hour, SAGU won with scores of 25-14, 25-14 and 25-13. HTU's largest lead in the three games was 1-0 in Game One, none in Game Two and 7-4 in Game Three. They are now 1-40 in actual sets, and 0-13 in matches. It's been a rough start for the rebuilding Rams, who were also swept at Texas Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.
By dividing the playing time in three quick games, most of SAGU's statistical leaders had a dip in their averages. They didn't seemed to care, as they relished in the play of substitutes.
Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) parlayed her play against St. Thomas the night before, with another solid showing. The sophomore hit .529 as she had 11 kills in 17 attempts. She served for nine points, had four digs, two blocks and was 4-for-4 in passing.
The congruent play of senior Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) was as steady as a rock. Toole racked up a game-high 10 points from the back line. She had seven digs, also a team-best, and seven kills. It ended a string of 11 straight matches of double-figure kills.
Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Arlington Grace Prep) added 29 assists to the 53 she bagged against St. Thomas the night before. The freshman setter served for two aces and five points, and made six digs.
And two players whose game has risen dramatically so far this year, Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS) and Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS), were at it again. Espinoza accounted for seven service points, four digs and 5-for-5 in the passing game, while Cisneros made five blocks for the second consecutive match, had seven kills and three assists.
Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) are the court stabilizers on this team. Briggs, who had six aces for the second time in three matches against St. Thomas, was 7-of-8 with her passes and was credited with four digs. Brown was perfect in her eight passes and made five digs.
Team Lioness, who has an early conference test next weekend when they travel to play Our Lady of the Lake on Friday (6pm), October 1, and UT-Brownsville the next day at 1:00pm, saw everyone contribute on Saturday. Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS) played good defense, had four digs and converted all five of her pass attempts. Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) got some court time, saving two rallies with a pair of digs and was 3-of-3 with controlled passes.
Two players who make their impact in the attack zone, Stephanie Pena (San Antonio, Tx / Clark HS) and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), got their chances as well. Pena (pronounced PAIN-ya) had two kills and an assist, while Cox added three blocks and six kills.
Devan Guynes (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS), who continues to rehab an injured quad, saw limited action, making good on two pass attempts.
The Lady Lions zoomed to a 9-3 start behind two kills by Toole, one on an assist by Calverley; the other, a blast down the middle, from Brown. Hudson had four kills as the lead swelled to 12-5. Cox and Cisneros had spikes as the score reached 19-9. Brown hammered a Calverley helper for a 21-11 scoreboard bulge, and two Hudson smashes ended the set, 25-14.
Two spikes by Toole, an Espinoza ace and a Hudson tip catapulted SAGU to a 10-4 start. Pena unleashed a crosscourt attack at 12-5, followed by two kills by Cox on assists from Cisneros and Pena. Another Cisneros "exclamation point," thanks to a bump from Calverley, and Team Purp led 20-8. They coasted from there to claim a second straight 25-14 outcome.
Tillotson had some inspired play to start the third game, leading 4-2. Then, during a long volley, as she was about to set an assist, Calverley caught the Rams off-guard with a crisp, push to a middle void and SAGU was off and running. Cisneros and Hudson combined on a rejection at the net as SAGU went up, 16-8.
Brown ignited a rally with a number of well-placed serves. Cox deposited a Calverley set for a point, and then Dollar banked a blast to the middle. Following a dig by Dollar, Cox pounded a hit to give Southwestern a 22-10 advantage. Guynes was serving at the end of the match when the 'Cats finished off the match with a 25-13 victory.