Volleyball Fall Schedule Released
Setting the Course
Hank Moore’s Club Reloads for 2011 Season
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The women’s volleyball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, the winningest program on campus, released their schedule for the upcoming season.
Head Coach Hansford “Hank” Moore has led the Lady Lions to a remarkable six straight winning records during the regular season. The veteran coach and Ohio native, will have to replace a pair of outstanding players in All-American Brittani Toole (Whitehouse, Tx / Whitehouse HS) and Jordan Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS), who graduated.
Moore is beginning his eleventh season at the wheel, and five of the past six campaigns have produced 21 or more wins. In his tenure, the Purple Pride has racked up winning overall records in 8-of-10 years.
SAGU was 18-17 after giving the champion UT-Brownsville a scare in the semi-finals of the Red River Athletic Conference tournament. With two tough setbacks at the NCCAA Central Regionals the following week, Southwestern finished 18-19.
Reached out of town at the state prep playoffs, Moore said this season will begin with three consecutive weekend tournaments.
Lady Lions debut in Sooner State
They open with four matches, August 26-27, in Bethany and Oklahoma City that will surely test the mettle of a SAGU squad that will be meshing in several new starters. They will face Bethel College and Southern Nazarene University on Friday, then Oklahoma City University and Tabor College on Saturday.
New members in the RRAC, the University of St. Thomas, welcome SAGU to their Houston tourney on September 2-3. The Lady Lions will tangle with Montana Tech, Great Falls University, Schreiner University and Friends University at the Jerabeck Athletic Center.
Austin College, one of the nation’s best NCAA Division III programs, has again invited Southwestern to their 14th annual Austin College Classic in Sherman, Texas. The Lions will take on Hardin Simmons University and Howard Payne University on September 9, and the University of Texas at Tyler and Austin College (29-10) the next day.
Coach Moore has had a history of utilizing the rigorous opposition and time together as a team on the road to build great camaraderie. Last fall the Lady Lions, who were replacing two All-Americans from 2009, started 4-8. They responded by winning 11 of their next 15.
Home Opener, Sept. 23
Following the 12 tournament matches, Team Purple plays three more away games before finally coming home on, Friday, September 23 for a clash with Bacone College. The Lions have enjoyed a mastery over the Warriors in recent years, winning the last eight meetings, sweeping each time.
SAGU will play a 30-game regular season, including 10 in the RRAC, four less than last year. Coaches voted to play a single, round-robin slate, which allows teams to play more non-conference opponents. The Lady Lions finished fourth in 2010 with an 8-6 mark. In 2009 they racked up a 10-6 ledger while taking third, a year after going 10-2 in a best-ever second place effort.
UT-Brownsville (38-2), Wiley College (21-9), Our Lady of the Lake University and Texas Wesleyan University were among the league’s best last fall and should be contenders again.
Talented Core to Lead the Lions
Southwestern expects a solid group of players to form the nucleus of what could be another winning team. Three seniors will lead the way; Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian), Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) and Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS).
Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS), Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) joined the aforementioned trio as players in Moore’s primary rotation.
Cisneros was a First Team All-Conference performer at middle-blocker, usually rising against the tougher opponents. She rejected 106 shots, ranking third in the RRAC in blocks. She was 8th in attacking percentage (.238). Along with Toole (469 kills), Cisneros (301 kills) gave SAGU two of the top three players in kills.
Calverley was chosen to the Second Team as a 5-foot-10 setter, averaging 9.0 assists per set, second only to Eileen Burbano (Wiley College) at 9.2.
Espinoza had a most-improved effort, especially as a defensive specialist. She was fourth in the Red River in digs, making 2.9 per game. She led the Lions in serving aces for most of the season by adding a very effective jump serve.
Hudson (16th) and Cox (17th) ranked in the league’s top twenty in attacking accuracy. The pair of net powers smashed 257 and 240 kills, with Hudson finishing ninth in the league.
By the end of the year, SAGU had five of the RRAC’s top eight in service aces; Brown led with 44, Briggs 41, Espinoza 40, Hudson 38 and Calverley 36.
The competition figures to be very tough, as players vie for starting berths and playing time. A number of others will be back, and, along with newcomers and red-shirted players, fans can expect a hungry team that fights to the finish.
Many observers in the RRAC believe that Southwestern has both the biggest support and most boisterous fans in the league. And the team plays like it!
Watch SAGU Volleyball
This season the Lady Lions will have five matches broadcast on SAGU SPORTS Live. With free access, fans can follow the team on the internet, their iPhone or other communication systems, all in high-quality high definition. The webcasts – both visual and audio, will be during yet-to-be-selected home matches.
An announcement will come during the summer regarding broadcast dates.
They join football, which will have all four of their home games, and basketball, in broadcasting some of their games. Basketball will probably show all home games starting in January.
|2001||20-15||National Champions of NBCAA|
|2002||19-16||National Champions of NBCAA|
|2003||16-15||National Champions of NBCAA|
|2004||9-21||Qualified for RRAC Tourney in first year in conference|
|2005||21-20||Qualified for RRAC Tourney, won NCCAA regional, played at NCCAA Nationals|
|2006||21-10||Qualified for RRAC Tourney, won NCCAA regional, played at NCCAA Nationals|
|2007||29-15||#3 Seed at RRAC Tourney, won NCCAA regional, made NCCAA nationals Final Four|
|2008||27-15||#2 Seed at RRAC Tourney|
|2009||28-12||#3 Seed at RRAC Tourney, won NCCAA regional, NCCAA nationals #3 Seed|
|2010||18-19||#4 Seed at RRAC Tourney, played at NCCAA regionals|
|Head Coach Hank Moore's 10 year career mark: 208-158, a winning percentage of .568|