SAGU-Wiley VBall by the numbers
Lady Lions start hot, Wildcats 'plead the fifth'
Three more matches on Thursday, Friday, Saturday
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team missed a chance to upend their nemesis, Wiley College, on Tuesday night in the Sheaffer Center.
SAGU, 9-5 this season, came out strong in grabbing a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five match. Wiley then duplicated what they did a year ago, also in the Sheaffer Center, by reeling off three straight games to escape with a 3-2 triumph.
The Lady Lions team, filled with veterans, was impressive at the outset. Wiley, however, fought back behind a very young and talented team with six international players.
They combined for 44 kills in the last three games while the hosts were held to 27. The Wildcats, now 8-9 overall, hit .483 in the fourth game with 17 kills against just three errors.
In the pivotal fifth it appeared the Lady Lions might rebound when they scored five points in succession for a 7-6 lead. But like they did in the previous two games, the Wildcats bounced back.
They delivered six of their ten kills and made a lone error in the set to rally for six of the final eight points in a 15-10 verdict.
It was Wiley’s fifth win in a row over the Lady Lions for a 9-5 lead in the series. Eight times these teams have gone the full five games.
SAGU took the first two; 25-21 and 25-17. Wiley regrouped to win 25-21, 25-14 and 15-10.
Nancy Sikobe (sick-OH-bee), Wiley’s fifth year head coach and native Kenyan, described the feelings of all who witnessed the two-hour match. “Now that was intense,” she said as she walked off the court.
Two teams had just spent themselves of great energy and emotion.
Only one left with the win after each battled to be that team.
SAGU finished the match with a .153 hitting percentage, but managed to hit better than total in just one game, the second. In that game they rocked 16 kills and made five errors to hit .314.
The Lady Lions’ attack registered a .119 figure in the first game, .083 in the third, then .129 and .148 in the last two sets.
The Wildcats countered for a .202 match average, thanks to a 65-55 margin in kills.
Following a rough start against an inspired Lady Lions squad, Wiley’s performance steadily improved; .023, .139, .154, .483 and .409 in the fifth.
The visitor’s defense recovered from SAGU's early domination. The Purple Pride zoomed to a 20-9 lead in the first and were in command of the second when they muscled ahead, 22-17.
A 90-78 advantage in digs by Wiley took its toll, as did their blocking game at the net. Credited with only six assisted blocks, they appeared to rack up plenty more to offset the Lions powerful front.
Still in first place in the Sooner Athletic Conference, the Lady Lions have perhaps their toughest test of the season coming on Thursday.
They tangle with No. 10 ranked Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Ok. Fans can watch the action at 7:00pm on live video as well as on a LiveStats webcast.
Livestream Video: http://www.obubison.com/
The OBU Bison are 12-4, including 4-2 at home. They have achieved a 3-3 ledger while playing six ranked teams.
In their most recent loss a week ago, they fell at home to College of the Ozarks, 3-1. SAGU defeated the Ozarks two weeks ago, 3-2, rallying from an 0-2 hole.
The Lady Lions return home for two matches on Friday at 7:00pm versus St. Thomas (4-11), then on Saturday at 1:00pm against John Brown University (7-12).
The Lady Lions and Golden Eagles match will be aired on SAGU Sports Live beginning at approximately 12:50pm. JBU leads the series, 3-1.
Photos by Steve Patterson of Moving Pictures: movingpictures.photoreflect.com