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Stars tightrope past SAGU, 3-1

High-pressure drama taxes teams to the max

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma  --  Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) collected a dozen kills apiece in a four-set college volleyball match that was as tight as a lockjawed clam.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University narrowly lost on the road to Oklahoma City University, 3-1; 22-25, 26-24, 24-26 and 25-27.

The setback dropped SAGU to 10-8 overall and leveled their mark in the Sooner Athletic Conference to 3-3. After an 8-4 and 3-0 SAC start, it was their second ultra-close loss in a week.

OKCU moved to 10-7 and 3-2 in league play. It avenged their 3-2 loss at SAGU in 2012. The Stars won games three and four only to have the Lady Lions silence their rally with a 15-12 victory in the fifth.

Monday night witnessed the two clubs exchange high velocity shots at the net, racking up big kills and totaling more errors than desired. The Stars had more kills, 62-43, as well as hitting errors, 33-25.

SAGU had more digs, 83-81, with OKCU making more blocks, including a 14-4 margin in combo rejections.

As snug as the lid on a honey jar, three of the games were won by the bare minimum of two points.

Only in the first game, won by the Stars, was the margin larger. In that set, OKCU won by three (25-22). They pulled away from a 22-21 lead.

“Our kids fought the entire match,” SAGU Head Coach Hank Moore said afterwards. “We did struggle a little on offense, but both teams played really hard.” The Stars hit .153. The Lady Lions finished at .097.

hardin-at-net-vs-jbuSAGU is third (.187) in the SAC in hitting, one point ahead of fourth-place OKCU (.186).

“I feel that Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) grew up right in front of our eyes tonight,” he added. “She and McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) did a great job tonight.” The pair of freshmen continues to make their mark on the court.

He also pointed out the play of junior Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian).

“She played one of her best matches defensively.” True, she scooped up 25 digs, one short of her career high this season against the University of Dallas.

“Our girls just don't quit,” he explained. “I hate losing. But when we compete like we did tonight, I think we grow as a club.”

“This is a tough conference. Every night will be tough. We are making some great strides,” concluded Moore.

SAGU will take on the NAIA's No. 22 ranked team, Wayland Baptist University, on Saturday, October 5, at 11:00am (CST). The Pioneers are currently 16-3.

The best-of-five match will be aired in HD on SAGU TV by SAGU Sports Live.  A LiveStats webcast will be offered simultaneously.

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

*NOTE: For more details and the Box Score on the match, read the following story.

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