RRAC VBall tourney berth clinched
Lady Lions sweep Texas College, 3-0
Career-best nine kills by freshman Abbott
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Like a mighty river, the women’s volleyball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University rolls on.
Following their sweep of Texas College on Saturday morning they clinched their eighth consecutive berth in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament.
Only the top six teams in the 12-team circuit earn a spot in the single elimination venue. The tourney will be hosted at Texas Wesleyan University’s Sid Richardson Center during November 9-10.
The Lady Lions took all three games from a Texas College squad that put up a good battle before falling; 25-16, 25-18, and 25-12. It was SAGU’s twelfth consecutive win over the Lady Steers.
Southwestern has also secured a winning regular season record in eight seasons, the longest current run of success in the RRAC.
Earlier this season Head Coach Hank Moore, the dean of conference coaches, picked up his 250th career win.
By clipping the Horns, the Lady Lions improved to 16-14 overall and 6-4 against teams from the Red River. Texas College finished the season at 10-19 and 3-8.
Russeal Wortham, their head coach, led them from last year’s 3-21 campaign to a 10-19 mark this season.
The Steers upped their league ledger from 0-9 to 3-8, a clear advancement. Texas College went 2-27 in individual games versus RRAC team in 2011. They recovered to 10-27 this fall.
Until losing at Texas Wesleyan and SAGU this weekend, Texas College had a 10-10 mark after starting the season at 1-7.
Southwestern had little trouble with their attack, almost placing four players in double-digits in kills.
With junior setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) fueling the frontline with 44 assists, the team hit a combined .422.
Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) was tops in kills with 15. Sophomore swatter Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) bopped 14 spikes for points while Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), a junior middle blocker, played error-free with a dozen kills.
The broadcast crew from SAGU Sports Live selected J.J. Abbott (Kenmore, Wash / Cedar Park Christian) as the Player of the Game. The 5’11 freshman blasted nine kills in 14 swings. Her hitting percentage was a splendid .571 due to her making just one mistake on an attempted spike.
Calverley and freshman libero Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) each added nine digs on the defensive end, while Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) served up a pair of aces to lead both teams.
Briggs has 34 aces, second only to Hudson's 35. Smith is third with 33.
The outcome was never really in doubt. SAGU hit .405 and .283 in the first two games, then nailed 18 spikes against zero errors for a .692 total in the third set.
Texas College came out firing, with nine kills and only two errors in the first game. In fact, TC has less hitting errors in the match than their counterparts.
SAGU did have a huge edge in kills, 58-25, but the Steers remained competitive by committing less hitting errors, 12-10. Their efficiency declined systematically; .269, .139 and .143.
The Lady Lions will play Jarvis Christian College at 4:00pm later in the afternoon to wrap-up the season. The Lady Bulldogs resumed their volleyball program this year after a two-year hiatus.
Then comes at least two weeks of tournament play.