V-Ball team starts season with tourneys
Lady Lions are building something good again
SAGU in Houston this weekend for four matches
BETHANY, Okla. -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team, deeper than in years past, began the new season by going 1-3 in a tournament hosted by both Southern Nazarene University and Oklahoma City University.
The Lady Lions of head coach Hansford Moore racked up a solid showing statistically and played 13 of the 17 on their roster. In actual sets, they were 7-9 in just over 24 hours in this suburb of Oklahoma City.
Complete box scores and player statistics are available on the Red River Athletic Conference website.
SAGU played inspired ball, especially on the defensive side. They began by sweeping Bethel College (Kansas), 3-0; 25-21, 25-18, 25-12. The Purple Pride held the Threshers to .051 hitting, while stroking a respectable .231 themselves. BC had a 24-13 ledger last fall.
Sophomore setter Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) had 27 assists during the three games, while freshman Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian) hit .348 in leading the team with nine kills. Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS) was second with seven kills and was third in digs with nine.
Libero, Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx / Duncanville HS), and Tina Brown (Seguin, Tx / Lifegate Christian), both seniors, were steady anchors for the team, registering 14 and 10 digs respectively.
Southwestern suffered their first setback of the fall against Southern Nazarene, 3-1. The Crimson Storm took the first two sets, 25-21 and 25-12, before the Lions battled to claim a 25-23 triumph. SNU took the match with a 25-22 win in the fourth set.
Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) starred with 13 kills and had a .321 attacking percentage. Calverley was credited with 34 helpers as the Lions delivered a .153 attack against the Crimson Storm, who were 21-16 a year ago. Three players reached double-digits in digs; Espinoza 22, Hudson 14 and Calverley 10.
The following day SAGU fell at OKC University, 3-1. The Stars posted a 23-14 mark in 2010. After coming up short in the first game, 25-16, the Lady Lions won an epic thriller, 34-32, while outhitting OKU .200 to .105. The Stars shone brightly in rebounding to take the match with 25-16 and 25-13 wins.
Sodich, Cisneros and Cox pounded 13, 11 and eight spikes respectively and Calverley bagged 37 assists. Espinoza again was the glue for the defense, salvaging rallies by making 23 digs. Taylor made 19, Hudson 16 while Brown scooped up 11.
In their final competition against Tabor College (Kansas), the Lions slipped in the final two games after building a 2-1 lead. The 3-2 loss started with a nail-biting, 25-23 defeat. SAGU responded with back-to-back victories, 25-18 and 25-17. The Bluejays, 16-15 in 2010, regrouped with 25-21 and 15-11 wins.
SAGU, who outscored the Blue Birds 105-100 overall, were hindered by their serving game. With a lone ace and 10 service errors, they finished the tourney with 14 and 27. During the 16 sets (also called games), the Lions hit a collective .173 while limiting their foes to .179. Not a bad way to begin the new campaign!
Hudson played the role of Rock Hudson with her tourney-best; 14 kills and 15 digs. The junior hit .257. Cox added 13 kills; Amanda Laney (New Braunfels, Tx / New Braunfels Christian) hammered 11, while Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx / Del Valle HS) and Sodich whacked nine and seven.
Calverley had 52 assists during a match in which the Lions stroked a .223 attack pct. Espinoza was a gold-digger, coming up with 21.
Cats Stats: Top 5
SAGU’s statistical leaders after four matches include:
Hitting Pct.: Calverley .320, Cox .263, Sodich .255, C. Dollar .250, Cisneros .213.
Kills (Per Set): Cox 40 (2.5), Sodich 38 (2.4), Cisneros 31 (1.9), Hudson 29 (1.8), Laney 18 (1.2).
Digs (Per Set): Espinoza 80 (5.0), Hudson 54 (3.4), Calverley 44 (2.8), Brown 31 (1.9), Kirk 28 (1.8).
Assists/Per Set: Calverley 150 in 16 sets, 9.4 per set.
Service Aces: Guynes 3, Espinoza 3, Sodich 3, Calverley 2, Hudson 2.
Total Blocks: Cisneros 16, Cox 13, Calverley 12, Laney 5, Hudson 3, Sodich 3.
In a vote by the players, this year’s leadership trio was announced as seniors Tina Brown and Laura Espinoza and sophomore Amanda Laney.
UP NEXT: SAGU in Houston Tourney
The team returns to the court this weekend in Houston, September 2-3, at the University of St. Thomas’ Jerabeck Athletic Center (3800 Montrose). SAGU’s itinerary includes four matches.
On Friday the ‘Cats face Montana Tech (14-14 in 2010) at 1:00pm and the University of Great Falls (8-19), followed by Schreiner University (11-17 in NCAA D-III) at 9:00am on Saturday and Friends University (32-9) at 1:00pm.
Their Friday foes are from Montana, while Schreiner (SHRY-nur) is from Kerrville, Texas and Friends is located in Wichita, Kansas.
SAGU starts the season with 15 games on the road before their home opener on September 23 against Bacone College (Okla). Of the Lady Lions final 15 games, nine are in the friendly confines of the Sheaffer Full Life Center, with six of them broadcast in HD on SAGU SPORTS Live.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, Sports Information Director, at