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Youth Movement led by Hardin, Criddle, Abbott

SAGU plays at MACU on Monday night

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) hammered a dozen kills against NCAA Division II opponent Southern Nazarene University, but it wasn’t enough for Southwestern Assemblies of God University to avoid being swept at home.

SAGU’s overall record fell to 12-11 while SNU upped theirs to 14-6.

The Crimson Storm, who beat SAGU 3-0 on September 20 (SAGU was 8-3 at the time) in Bethany, Ok., defeated Texas Wesleyan University, 3-2, the night before in Ft. Worth.

Southern Nazarene took the match in three; 25-20, 25-20 and 27-25. The scores were close and the effort high for the Lady Lions, though the Storm outhit them in all three games.

Hardin, a freshman middle hitter, posted her highest number of kills and has reached double figures twice in the last three matches. Hardin turned 25 attempts into 12 spikes for points to finish with a .320 hitting percentage.

The six-footer’s game has steadily risen. Her .188 percentage narrowly passes Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian), who is at .184, and now ranks #9 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

The only players in purple to have a higher percentage on Saturday were also underclassmen; McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) and J.J. Abbott (Kenmore, Wash / Cedar Park Christian). 

Criddle had just eight swings, but made them count for four kills in a .500 match. She made zero errors. Abbott pounded five kills in 12 tries against one miscue for a .333 match.

Senior setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) was very effective during a 34 assist performance.vb-jj-abbott-2013

Sodich led the defense with 14 digs. Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) supported her with eleven.

In the first set, the Lions built a 17-11 lead by utilizing three kills apiece by Sodich and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS).

Following a timeout by 13-year Head Coach Kevin Ingram, SoNaz rallied behind four Jamie Hope kills to grab a 22-19 lead. An ace from Kaylee Piatt clinched the game, 25-20.

In the next game, the Lady Lions jumped out front 4-2 on a pair of Hardin swats. SNU took the lead for good at 12-11.

Sodich drove a blast through a block attempt to keep SAGU within two (17-15), but they would get no closer.

Emily Dick’s kill won it thanks to a Taylor Chase assist, 25-20.

Team Lioness and the Crimson Storm went tooth-and-nail in a third set that was tied on 25 occasions and had six lead changes.

The back and forth exchanges resembled the sway and ticks of a metronome.

Knotted at 14, SAGU surged ahead by winning seven of the next ten points. Hardin hit three kills, Criddle added a pair and a service ace from Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) put SAGU in position to win at 21-17.

But three straight errors by the frontline allowed SNU to tie it at 21.

A Cox kill put Team Purp on top by a 25-24 count, but they couldn’t finish off the Storm. A pair of setting errors were costly before Cortney Sheid delivered a Piatt assist for the game and match point, 27-24.

The Storm, who now lead the series 14-3, ended the night with a .307 attack. Their top three hitters combined for 31 kills and just six errors.

SAGU hit .220. Their top three contributed 30 kills against 14 miscues.

Next two matches this week: Monday, Friday night

The Lady Lions hope to rebound on Monday night in Oklahoma City. They travel to meet last place Mid-America Christian University (3-17 / 0-8 in SAC) at 7:00pm.

The Lady Evangels were swept in the Sheaffer Center on September 17, 3-0; 25-20, 25-7 and 25-19.

SAGU’s next home match is on Friday, October 18, when they entertain St. Gregory’s University (5-16 / 2-6 SAC) at 5:00pm.

Coach Moore named to NCCAA position

SAGU's veteran Head Coach Hansford "Hank" Moore was recently named as the Division I Vice Chairman by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

Now in his 13th year, the Ohio native will serve in an administrative role. There are currently 61 colleges (NAIA, NCAA Division 2 and Div. 3) in Division

The Lady Lions are Division 1 members and are in the Central Region. Southern Nazarene are currently the top ranked team in the Central.

At the end of the regular season, qualifying teams will compete in Regional tournaments for a berth in the 10-team Nationals.

This year's Central Regional will be hosted by Colorado Christian University on November 21-23.

Nationals will be played in the Orlando suburbs at the Kissimmee Civic Center, during December 5-7.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at or at 469-658-2847.

10-14   @ Mid-America Christian Univ, 7:00pm
10-18   St. Gregory's Univ, 5:00 (SSL HD Video)
10-22   Oklahoma Baptist Univ, 6:00pm   (SSL HD Video)
10-26   @ John Brown Univ, 1:00pm
10-29   Oklahoma City Univ, 5:00pm (Senior Day)   (SSL HD Video)
11-2    @ Wayland Baptist Univ, 11:00am
11-8    @ Texas Wesleyan Univ, 7:00pm