VBall rallies for big win in Houston
Down 2-1, SAGU storms back, wins 3-2
Calverley, Cox team-up to knock 'em down
HOUSTON, Texas -- Led by juniors Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), the Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team rallied to edge the University of St. Thomas, three games to two.
The Lady Lions, 9-10 overall, won for the eighth time in three weeks. St. Thomas, now 13-9, entered the match having gone 11-3 after a 2-5 start. The Celts had won the past two meetings at the Jerabeck Athletic Center.
SAGU won the first set, 25-18, before the hosts swept games two and three; 25-21 and 25-14. The Lady Lions rebounded to even the match with a 25-17 win, and then rolled in the decisive fifth, 15-10.
Coach Hansford Moore’s squad improved their mark to 2-1 in matches that have gone the distance.
After the Lady Lions started 1-8 and were 8-25 in sets, they regrouped. Team Lioness has gone 8-2 and 26-12 in sets to move into contention in the Red River Athletic Conference. They are hotter than a half-chewed jalapeno!
SAGU is 3-1 and tied for fourth with Wiley College.
Calverley, who is averaging 10.0 assists per game; third in the RRAC and 29th nationally, had 44 on Saturday. Considering the defenses on display, her performance was noteworthy. She also added nine digs.
It was the eighth time this season (in 19 matches) she registered 40 or more helpers. Last year she had eight the entire season (41 matches).
As a freshman she also had eight (in 37).
As for Cox, she had her highest hitting percentage of the season and fifth best in her career, whacking 21 kills in 32 swings.
With only four errors, the 6’1 middle blocker hit .531, more than doubling her season average. “What a match for Kassy!” exclaimed Coach Moore.
Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian) was credited with 15 kills in 54 swings, while Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS), the team hitting leader, added seven in 28 with a single error.
The 'Big Three' attackers seem to alternate matches with the hot hand.
SAGU outhit St. Thomas by a .214 to .198 count, even though the Celts owned a 62-53 margin in spikes for points.
They also had more errors (28-20) than the Lions, and, coupled with 11 service errors, spelled the difference in a match Southwestern won in points, 100-95.
The Lions defense, their knack for saving play with digs, was on full display.
Sodich led three in double digits with 22. Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) each accounted for a dozen.
Jessie Giese (Tulsa, Ok / Union HS) stepped in and played during three sets, hitting three kills and adding a pair of digs.
Team Purple trailed 2-1 after three games. They were hitting .107 with 30 kills to go along with 19 errors in 103 attempts.
When it was needed, they united to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Lady Lions made just one error in the final two games, hitting .431. SAGU combined for 23 kills in 51 swings to rally past the Celts (pronounced Kelts).
St. Thomas countered to hit .207 (20 kills, 9 errors, 53 atts) in the closing two games. It wasn't nearly enough.
Call it clutch, and Calverley and Cox were in command of it when the team needed it most.
Four home matches during Homecoming Week
The Lady Lions have little time to rest. They will host four of five matches during Homecoming Week, starting with Monday’s broadcast of a 7:00pm (CST) clash against Mid-America Christian University.
The Lady Evangels entered the weekend with a 13-7 mark. SAGU opened the 2012 season with a 3-1 triumph over MACU in Oklahoma City.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at
or at 469-658-2847.