Three of four games decided by two points
SAGU hosts No. 22 ranked Wayland on Saturday morn
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- Playing their fifth match in seven days and ninth in fourteen, Southwestern Assemblies of God University came oh so close to defeating Oklahoma City University on Monday night at the Abe Lemons Arena.
The host Stars took the match, 3-1; 25-22, 24-26, 26-24 and 27-25.
The league thriller produced a number of pressure-packed highlights. Here are the Game Notes:
After falling behind the Stars, 17-8, SAGU put together a stirring comeback in Game Two. Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) drilled three kills in a row to fuel the rally. A pair of bombs by Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) moved the Lions from four down (22-18) to within 23-21.
The momentous surge impacted the hosts. Leading 24-21, the Stars unraveled.
Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) began launching serves that coaxed four consecutive attacking errors. SAGU finished with an 18-7 run by scoring the game’s final five points to win, 26-24.
In the next two sets it was the Stars who shone brightest when the outcome hung in the balance. In both games the Lady Lions lost a very late lead.
SAGU led Game Three, 23-22, when they made a serving error. The home team countered with an ace and two late kills to escape, 26-24.
Needing a win in the fourth to force a fifth, the Purple Pride found themselves behind 8-4.
Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) set up Cox for a monster spike to even the score at 11, and then assisted Hannah Lewis (Broken Arrow, Ok / Broken Arrow HS) on a kill for a 13-11 upper hand.
Kills from Sodich maintained the lead at 15-13 and 18-16.
The Stars answered with a critical 6-0 run to go on top, 22-18.
Cox ripped a kill, which was bookended by two Hardin kills to balance the score at 24. A hitting miscue by the Stars gave SAGU a game-point, 25-24 lead.
OKCU used a kill to knot the score, and then parlayed back-to-back Lady Lion hitting errors for the win, 27-25.
Sodich and Cox each blasted 12 kills, and a freshman duo proved their mettle.
Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) and McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) hammered eight and five. Hardin was set up 29 times. Criddle was errorless in 14 attempts.
Senior setter Calverley recorded 34 assists.
On defense, four players finished in double-digits; Sodich 25, Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) 16, Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian) 12 and Briggs 11. Kirk fired two of the team’s three aces.
The win by the Stars gives them a 6-1 lead in the series. They have gone 27-47 over the past two years. As recently as 2007 and 2008 they assembled 33-8 and 34-10 seasons.
They had four players with ten or more kills, led by freshman Kristen Macy, who had 20. Hannah Mitcham, a sophomore setter from Ft. Worth, had 54 assists.
Senior libero Danielle Robison, of Dallas, was credited with 32 digs and two aces. She leads the SAC with 42.
SAGU returns to the court on Saturday afternoon in a highly anticipated clash between the Lady Lions (10-8) and Wayland Baptist University (16-3).
The No. 22 ranked Pioneers and SAGU will start at 11:00am in a match that will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live.
Rob Price (play-by-play) and Devan Guynes (color analyst) begin the pregame show at 10:50am (CST) at http://www.sagu.edu/sagutv
A LiveStats webcast will also be available for fans: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Webcasts.aspx?association=10
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at email@example.com or at 469-658-2847.