Lady Lions continue solid play
SAGU thumps Univ. of Dallas, 3-1
Sodich, Cox, Calverley likened to All-Americans
IRVING, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team didn’t have to go far to pick up another victory. They beat the University of Dallas in three games, 25-22, 25-19, 24-26 and 25-18, Tuesday night at the Maher Athletic Center in Irving.
“It was good win for our kids,” SAGU Head Coach Hansford Moore said on the team’s 45-minute drive back to campus. “The University of Dallas has a good team. They were bigger than us.”
In a physical, grinding match before a large Senior Night crowd, the Crusaders, now 13-11, used a size advantage to block shots and limit the effectiveness of the SAGU attack.
Their superior service game (13 aces) also worked in their favor on a night when neither team hit exceptionally well.
Team Purple hit .217 to the ‘Saders’ .140.
The SAGU attack assembled .170, .188 and .147 totals leading up to the fourth game. Then they nailed 16 kills against just three errors for a match-best .394 effort.
The U-of-D’s four set totals, in order, were .135, .088, .259 and .108 in the fourth.
Southwestern, 11-10 overall, countered by gutting out triumphs with their trademark defense, hustle and a huge game by junior Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep).
She totaled 50 assists in four games, an average of 12.5 per, providing the frontline with plenty of sets to force upon the Crusaders defense. She is currently averaging 10.1 helpers per game.
While SAGU made more errors, 25-21, the ‘Big Three’ seized a surprising 58-42 edge in kills (spikes that produced points) over their elevated counterparts.
Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian) had 20 kills, while Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) drilled 16 and 12 against the NCAA Division III foe.
It was the eighth time the trio reached double-figures in the same match. Sodich has registered 18 double-digit matches, while Hudson is second with 14. Cox has racked up 12. (See their season totals below)
Afterwards, Head Coach Hansford Moore was full of praise for Sodich, Cox and Calverley.
“Jessica Sodich was a warrior for us tonight,” he stated from the team bus. “She and Kassy Cox literally carried us.”
He then compared them to three former All-American Lady Lions.
“They remind me so much of another pair of kids who made our program respectable. Comparisons are not fair, but as I watched this match I kept thinking of BT (Brittani Toole) and KKD (Kelani Keoho-Daniels). These kids played that well.”
“And yes,” he continued, “the red-headed setter (Calverley) looks a lot like RB (Rachel Brown).”
Those are full marks for the three juniors. Daniels ranks #1 on the All-Time list in kills with 1,985. Toole rates #2 with 1,637. As for Brown, she, too, rates as the best in terms of assists, collecting 3,943 in her four seasons.
The Lady Lions served up nine aces, led by Hudson’s three and two apiece from Calverley, Sodich and Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS). U-of-D whacked 13 unreturnables, though they had seven errors. SAGU had four miscues from the backline.
Defensively is where Southwestern shone brightly, owning a 76-63 margin in digs. Sodich was tops with 19, followed by Smith, who had 18.
Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian) and Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) were in double digits with eleven apiece.
Smith has made ten or more digs in 14 matches this season, including the last six in a row. Briggs has eight double-figure efforts, reaching 10+ during four of the past five contests. The 11 by Kirk was her first.
SAGU has three home matches this weekend, all at the Sheaffer Center, where they can add to their recent run of 10-wins-in-12-outings.
Friday, October 12, the Lady Lions will entertain Huston-Tillotson University (3-19, 2-4 in the RRAC) at 7:00pm (CST).
The following day they will play host to a split doubleheader. SAGU takes on the University of St. Thomas (13-9, 4-1 in RRAC) at 11:00am, then, at 7:00pm, will tangle with Oklahoma City University. The Stars are 13-16 overall and 3-3 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
SAGU is fifth in the Red River Athletic Conference at 3-1.
The Big Three’s Whack Attack
Note: Sodich is firing 11.0 attacks per individual game, Hudson 9.1, Cox 7.5.