SAGU netters gunning for upset of OBU
Lady Lions play host to national power tonight
Team's final five games are SAC tourney tune-up
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Tonight's 6:00pm volleyball clash between Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Oklahoma Baptist University should prove to be a litmus test for the Lady Lions.
SAGU, 14-11 overall and 7-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, have displayed their best performances of the season in recent weeks.
Head Coach Hank Moore's team is virtually a lock to qualify for next month's SAC tournament, which is a 6-team, single-elimination event.
They were picked to finish 5th in a preseason poll of coaches. Their recent 4-1 run has moved them up to third in the conference.
Where they are seeded in the tourney will depend on how they do in their final five games. Coincidentally, they now face the same five teams who they'll likely go up against in the tourney.
SAGU begins with front-running OBU Lady Bison (24-4 / 10-0 SAC) this evening at 6:00pm (CST). They are ranked #8 in the country, though the new poll is expected out this afternoon.
The match will be aired in HD by SAGU Sports Live. The pre-game show begins at approximately 5:50pm. Rob Price and Devan Guynes will serve as play-by-play and color analyst. Tyler Evans will be the court reporter.
Oklahoma Baptist, who finished last year at 35-6 and #5 in the NAIA Coaches Poll, have rebuilt line-up around two-time All-American, outside hitter, Kristin Pressley.
A 5-foot-11 senior, Pressley has been selected the NAIA Player of the Week twice this season and has won SAC Player of the Week five times. Hailing from nearby Mansfield, Texas, the OBU career leader in kills recently surpassed 2,000.
When the teams met last month in Shawnee, Ok., a 3-1 win by the green-and-gold, Pressley racked up 27 kills, tying her season-best.
Junior setter Aysegul "Ezgi" Guney (GOON-ee) from Instanbul, Turkey, has split time as setter with Rachel Aguilar. Of late, however, Head Coach Anna Howle has awarded Guney with more time in the pivot as her play has progressed.
Valerie Stetzer, from Arlington, Tx, is the primary libero for OBU. The junior transfer from the University of Texas-Arlington, has been a solid defensive player and she is second on the team in service aces behind Pressley.
Watch for Brooke Wayman off the bench. The freshman from Enid, Okla. brings high energy onto the floor when Coach Howle (silent 'e') senses the need for burst of wind in the team's sails.
Like SAGU, the Bison enter tonight on a roll, having won 14 matches in a row.
Three of their four losses have come to ranked teams. In fact, OBU is 7-3 against teams appearing in the NAIA Coaches Poll. The Lady Lions are 0-2, but could make a lot of noise with an upset this evening in the Sheaffer Center.
SAGU will also play John Brown University, #18 Wayland Baptist University, Texas Wesleyan University and Oklahoma City University over the next two weeks.
The OKCU match on October 29 is the final home match. It is also Senior Day, when several players will be honored.