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Sodich, Cox, Hardin supply the power

Third win in last four; host St. Gregory's on Friday

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma  --  Winning for the third time in their last four matches, Southwestern Assemblies of God University rolled past Mid-American Christian University, 3-0, on Monday night.

The Lady Lions, who also topped MACU in straight sets a month ago, took all three again; 25-20, 25-17 and 25-18.

SAGU bettered their overall record to 13-11 and upped their league ledger to 6-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. The team is in fifth place, just two games behind the front-running Oklahoma Baptist University (21-4 / 8-0 SAC).

MACU, who lost their sixth straight, slipped to 3-18 in all games and 0-9 in the Sooner. The Evangels have struggled to replace five players who graduated in the spring.

The Purple Pride vaulted to a quick 7-3 lead behind Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS), who had three kills to start the game.

A pair of aces off the hands of senior libero Melissa Dobie gave the hosts their only lead of the game at 11-10.

Senior Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) whistled an ace that Larissa Runyun couldn’t handle, knotting the score at 12. Hardin pounded a set from Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) and SAGU had a lead they would not relinquish.

Sodich, as she would do all night, began unloading kills. Three consecutive kills by the junior sparked the team to a 17-13 lead.

McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) added two for a 23-17 lead before Hardin finished off the victory with spikes that were too hot to handle.

SAGU hit .333 in the game, with 21 kills and only six errors.

Danielle Betts delivered two big hits at the outset of game two, boosting the Evangels to a 7-2 lead.

It wouldn’t last long.

Head Coach Hank Moore had the Pride hitch its wagon behind Sodich, their 2012 All-Conference outside hitter.

Five power blasts by the junior and an ace from Calverley during an 11-1 run lifted SAGU on top, 13-8.briggs-serving-at-macu

MACU managed to draw to within 18-15, before Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) pounded a shot and Sodich added three more kills to close out a 25-17 win.

A .371 attack included 16 kills and just three miscues proved too much for the Evangels. Team Purple is hitting .185 as a team, fourth best in the SAC.

MACU, at .076, lacked the firepower to seriously challenge the guests.

Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) started off the third game with a hot serve, and Briggs pulled the trigger on two more aces in an 8-1 start.

Kills by Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian), Jessie Giess (Tulsa, Ok / Union HS) and Hardin maintained the lead at 16-9.

Aces from Kirk and one 'cha-ching' serve by Beka Dollar (Brock, Tx / Brock HS) stymied a MACU rally, and then kills by Cox, Sodich and Giess (pronounced like the plural of goose) iced the game and clinched the match, 25-18.

SAGU cruised to the win despite being outhit in the game, .320 to .200.

Coach Moore was able to play twelve players, three more than the hosts.

Sodich and Cox paved the way for the Lady Lions with 14 and 12 kills respectively. The latter hit .526. Hardin wound up with nine kills and a .438 match.

Criddle and JJ Abbott (Kenmore, Wash / Cedar Park Christian) each had four kills and zero errors. Calverley and Smith racked up 35 and four assists apiece.

Briggs fired three aces and Kirk added two on a night when the Lions fired nine.

Defensively, Kirk led the squad with 13 digs. Four others had eight; Smith, Sodich, Calverley and Briggs. Courtney Tobolka (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) registered three.

Kacee Montgomery led MACU with twelve kills. Betts added seven.

SAGU can elevate their standing even higher on Friday when they entertain St. Gregory’s University (5-16 / 2-6 SAC) for a 5:00pm match.

It will be carried on-line in HD by SAGU Sports Live. The pregame show begins at 4:45pm.

Host Rob Price and Color Analyst Devan Guynes will supply the dialogue.

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

SAGU Remaining Schedule
10-18   Saint Gregory's (5-16 record),  5:00pm
10-22   (#9 ranked) Oklahoma Baptist (21-4),  6:00pm
10-26   @ John Brown (10-15),  1:00pm
10-29   Oklahoma City (14-8),  5:00pm
11-2    @ (#20) Wayland Baptist (21-3),  11:00am
11-8    @ Texas Wesleyan (13-14),  7:00pm

Opponents’ combined record: 84-60, . 583.

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