Lady Lions upended at Wesleyan, 3-1
VBallers end regular season with 15-15 mark mark
SAGU will compete in next weekend's SAC tournament
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University finished the regular season with a loss to Texas Wesleyan University in four sets at the Sid Richardson Center. Wesleyan avenged an earlier 3-1 defeat in Waxahachie.
SAGU loss the first two games, 22-25 and 17-25, then rallied for a thrilling 30-28 triumph in their third.
The fourth and deciding game saw the Lady Rams lead from the outset in a 25-21 win.
Junior Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) powered the team behind her 18 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) continued her elevated play with 11 kills.
Senior setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) racked up 39 assists, 20 digs and fired a service ace.
Defensively, sophomore libero Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) contributed 14 digs. She had one of the team’s six aces.
Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian) contributed nine digs and, along with fellow senior Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS), blistered a pair of aces.
Head Coach Hank Moore utilized a dozen players on the court. Among them was junior Hannah Lewis (Broken Arrow, Ok / Broken Arrow HS). She had a kill, a dig and an assisted block while at outside hitter.
The Lady Lions run of eight consecutive winning regular seasons ended with a 15-15 mark. They were 8-8 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
TWU ended at 18-17 overall. Their 10-6 league record put the Rams in third behind No. 7 ranked Oklahoma Baptist University (30-5 / 16-0 SAC) and No. 15 Wayland Baptist University (29-5 / 14-2 SAC).
SAGU had hoped to place higher than sixth.
With all but one player returning from last season, the Lady Lions were powered by three 2012 First Team All-Conference performers; Calverley, Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and Sodich.
The team was in third place less than three weeks ago at 14-11.
They finished 1-4 against the five teams who will join them in next week’s conference tournament. Three of those matches were on the road.
Having recently played the tourney field could well prepare them for post-season play.
Statistically, the Lady Lions have the third best attack in the conference.
Against Wesleyan, SAGU made five less hitting errors than the hosts (27-22).
The Rams countered with a more effective front line, finishing with a 62-43 advantage in kills.
The Wesleyan Women had a .197 to .128 advantage in hitting percentage.
Winning Game Three
SAGU's best game was the third, when they hit .227. They had 13 kills and made just three hitting errors.
The Pride jumped to a 10-4 lead on an ace by Smith. They maintained a 15-13 lead when Dollar cashed in with an ace.
The Lady Ewes rallied for a 23-21 lead before a determined SAGU squad rebounded. Sodich got things going with back-to-back jacks, then Hardin crushed three straight kills for a 29-28 upper hand.
The winning point came on a volley that started with a serve by Kirk. It ended on a hitting mistake by the Rams.
In the first meeting of the teams on October 10, the Lions also had a solid edge in limiting errors, making 18. TWU made 28. SAGU outhit their rivals, .173 to .145.
On Deck: Sooner Conference Tournament
Next up for SAGU is the SAC tournament. It will be hosted by the regular season champions, Oklahoma Baptist.
The pairings and schedule will be officially announced this weekend.
The top two teams receive a first round bye, followed by a pair of quarter-final match-ups.
SAGU could meet Oklahoma City University (18-13 / 9-7 in SAC). The Lady Lions swept the Stars on October 29.
It is a single elimination event. Each of the best-of-five matches will take place in the Mabee Arena, which is inside the Noble Complex.
Recently renovated, the Mabee Arena can accommodate 2,400 fans.
Fans can follow the matches on live video or chart the play-by-play, digitally, via LiveStats.
A preview of the tourney will be posted later this week.