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Middle Hitter hails from South Texas

All-District player led Livingston to 23-14 season

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The popular television show that airs on Animal Planet, River Monsters, sent the host, Jeremy Wade, to Lake Livingston in search of big game. The international fishing star was trying to validate a report of a giant alligator gar.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball Head Coach Hank Moore, also in search of players with big game, has announced the signing of McKenzie Criddle to a National Letter of Intent.

Criddle twice earned All-District at Livingston High School, which is just east of the lake, and 75 miles north of Houston.

She is a 6’0 Middle Hitter who helped anchor the front line for the green and white Lady Lions.

“She is going to be a good player for us,” Coach Moore said recently. “McKenzie delivered at a 4A program and will be a great fit at SAGU.”

The Polk County Enterprise reported that Criddle played an instrumental role in guiding the Lions into the Class 4A playoffs in each of the past two years.

Her coach at Livingston this year was Casey Mulryan, who played in college at Houston’s University of St. Thomas. Coach Mulryan led Livingston to a 23-14 record, their best in recent history.

The team posted a 10-4 ledger in District 20, finishing second to Port Neches-Groves HS. In individual games they were 69-45.

According to Max Preps the Lady Lions defeated the Porter HS Spartans (23-11) in the playoffs, three games to one. They fell in the second round to Hutto HS. The Hippos (41-6) swept the best of five match, 3-0.

Criddle is a gifted artist who also sings and plays the guitar. Her parents are Raford and Tressa Criddle.

Also present at her signing ceremony was Associate Athletic Director Katrina Thornton and a current SAGU football player.

Six-foot-four freshman tight end Caleb Shelly, who is from nearby Cold Spring (18 miles from Livingston), caught a number of passes – including a 55-yarder, for the Lions in the fall.

SAGU went 18-17 this season, including a 7-4 mark in their final season in the Red River Athletic Conference.

The Lady Lions were 17-14, making it eight consecutive winning regular seasons. Each earned a berth in the RRAC tournament, which includes only the top six teams.

They will join the Sooner Athletic Conference next year. Five of this year's seven schools in the Sooner had winning records, where Oklahoma Baptist University (35-6) ended at no. 5 in the final NAIA Coaches Poll.

The acquisition of Criddle could help SAGU fill the bill for one of their needs on the frontline. They finished eighth in the 12-team RRAC in blocks, averaging 1.4 per individual set.

The Lady Lions’ strengths were clear. They were fourth in hitting percentage (.207) as well as kills per game (12.9) and assists (11.4).

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

Photo prep work supplied by Moving Pictures, DeSoto, Tx.


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