Toole Time: All-American at it Again
Brittani Toole Named RRAC Hitter of the Week
WACO, Texas -- A year following her breakout performance as a Middle Blocker, Southwestern Assemblies of God University's senior Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) resumed her high-production play. On Sunday night she was named the Red River Athletic Conference's first Hitter of the Week for her impressive display at the Becky Hughes Volleyball Classic in Fort Worth, Texas. The announcement came from the RRAC headquarters in Waco.
The 5-foot-11 senior Tri-Captain delivered 44 kills in ten games, an average of 4.4 per set. The totals put her atop the conference leader board, where she was throughout the 2009 season. Nationally, she ranks #6 in the NAIA. Her hitting percentage for the week was down from her .350 season figure last fall, which earned her All-America honors. The .214 she hit over the weekend was still good enough to rate #4 in the RRAC.
A mix of power and dexterity allows Toole to hammer spikes at the net, tip teardrops into the gap, or deftly tap the ball away from would-be blockers to score points for her Lady Lions. She is currently enjoying the mix of six talented freshmen, who are being afforded much court-time in the early going, even if it means a few veterans watch and support, as Toole did on Saturday evening. It helps expedite the experience level and strengthens the team.
Taylor Calverley, Setting the Pace
One of those newbies, Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Arlington Grace Prep), a 5'10 Setter, won the job that another All-American player, Rachel Brown, held for four years. During the tourney at Texas Wesleyan she made 118 assists, averaging 8.4 per game. That ranks her #3 in the RRAC and moved her into the NAIA's Top 30 at #28.
Jordan Briggs, Digging the Foundation
Also making the stat list this week are a pair of Defensive Specialists in senior Libero Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and junior Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS). Briggs, in making 58 digs, averaged 4.1 per game, ranking #2 in the Red River. Espinoza's hot play at summer camp continues. Her 46 digs average out to 3.3 per game, putting her at #5 in the RRAC. Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian) is #7 and Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) comes in at #9.
Southwestern has several players who are currently on the charts for their play. In hitting percentage, which is similar to a hitter's batting average in baseball, after Toole at #2 in the RRAC, comes Hudson at #8 and Brown at #11. In kills, Hudson is #9 in the league, with Brown and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) at #16.
When it comes to serving aces, Briggs is #9 and Hudson #11. Cox, the 6-foot freshman from east Texas, rates #7 in the RRAC.
A complete list of all SAGU players' individual statistics can be found at www.redriverconference.com, as well as the NAIA's website at naia.cstv.com.
Tuesday: The First of 10 Home Matches
The Lady Lions' first home match is Tuesday, August 31, when they tangle with Southern Nazarene University (2-1). The Crimson Storm are from Bethany, Oklahoma. SAGU does not return to the FLC until a September 18 date with Bacone College.