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Team prepares for stretch run, SAC tourney

Lady Lions meet John Brown (Ark) on Saturday

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University limited their errors in holding their own against No. 8 ranked Oklahoma Baptist University on Tuesday night. They couldn’t, however, keep up with the Bisons’ frontline firepower in a 3-0 loss at the Sheaffer Center.

Junior outside hitter Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) fired 15 kills to lead SAGU, but it wasn’t enough against a Bison unit who won their 15th match in a row.

OBU, now 25-4 overall and 11-0 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, overcame the determined Purple Pride, 25-21, 25-16 and 25-22.

Both teams made the same number of hitting errors (17). It was a deeper collection of attackers that spelled the difference.

The green-clad Lady Bison had six players with four or more kills.

SAGU was limited to two; Sodich and freshman Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS), who had eight.

OBU finished with a 50-32 advantage in kills. It enabled the Bison to outhit their hosts, .282 to .139.

They were powered by two-time All American Kristin Pressley. She hammered 18 kills, made just three errors, and hit .441.

She added 11 digs, one service ace and assisted two blocks. Pressley wasn’t alone.

Five others supported her barrage at midcourt. Catherine Roth hit .412, powered nine kills and had three blocks. Lacey Herbert contributed seven kills and five blocks.

SAGU never led in the first game, but never folded despite twice falling behind by five points, 10-5 and 20-15.

Hardin and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) blasted kills and Sodich delivered two as SAGU drew to within 22-21.

OBU regrouped and won, 25-21, thanks to Pressley.

She spiked one set for a point and then ended the game with an ace. The Bison hit .444 and had a kill margin of 19-14 in the game.

In the second the Lions had their largest lead of the night, 2-0, following two OBU hitting errors. They kept a slim lead by utilizing kills from JJ Abbott (Kenmore, Wash / Cedar Park Christian) and Sodich.

Pressley put the team on her back, with her fifth kill of the game to build a 16-10 advantage. Their lead swelled to 20-11 before cruising to a 25-16 triumph.

OBU had a second straight 19 kill game, while SAGU’s assault dropped from 14 to seven.

The fight inside Team Purple was on display in the third. It featured a number of extended volleys.

Coach Hank Moore’s club started slow, trailing 7-1.

They bounced back to go on top, 11-10. Sodich had two kills and McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) whacked another and OBU made six errors in the 10-3 run.

Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) assisted a kill off the right hand of Hardin, whose show of clout continues to climb. SAGU was within 18-17.

After her first break from the action all night, Pressley returned to the court. She supplied two quick kills for a 22-17 upper hand.

Sodich rose to the occasion with four bombs to spark a 5-2 surge as the Lady Lions came to within 24-22.

OBU staved off the rally with a combo block at the net.

Calverley finished with 31 assists. Sodich led both teams with 14 digs, while Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) racked up eight.

Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS) had the team’s lone service ace.

In their 15-match streak (45-12 in games), OBU swept seven teams. Pressley has exceeded twenty kills in seven of the wins.

SAGU is 14-12 overall and 7-5 in the SAC.

The loss dropped the Lady Lions from third place to fifth. Still, qualifying for one of six spots in the conference tournament (Nov. 14-16) is all but official.

Current SAC Standings  http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/3.php

The team has four dates left, including their final home match next Tuesday against Oklahoma City University. SAGU seniors will be honored that evening.

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

Final Four

Oct. 26   at John Brown University (11-16 / 5-5 SAC), 1:00pm. Live Video and LiveStats at:
http://jbuathletics.com/volleyball/schedule/

Oct. 29   Home vs Oklahoma City University (16-9 / 7-4 SAC), 5:00pm. Senior Day.
Nov. 2   @ Wayland Baptist University (24-4 / 9-1 SAC), 11:00am
Nov. 8   @ Texas Wesleyan University (14-15 / 6-4 SAC), 7:00pm
 

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