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Golden Eagles rally from 2-1 deficit to edge Lions

SAGU Senior Day match set for Tuesday at 7:00pm

SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team came up short in a five-set defeat at the hands of John Brown University on Saturday at the Bill George Arena.

The host Golden Eagles were fresh off a 3-2 win over Texas Wesleyan University the night before. That helped propel them after SAGU took a 2-1 lead.

JBU took the opening set, 25-15, but the Lady Lions regrouped to outhit and outscore the Eagles in the next two, 25-22 and 25-19.

Facing defeat, the Eagles mounted a comeback. They jumped to a 5-0 lead in the fourth en route to 25-14 triumph, and then did similarly in the decisive fifth. Another quick start ended with a 15-3 verdict.

What made the difference down the stretch was JBU’s frontline.

After being stymied for two games by SAGU; they hit only .152 and .194 in their losses, they rose to the occasion in the last two.

The hosts hit .414 and .600, totaling 21 kills against just three hitting errors in those games, comparing favorably to SAGU’s .063 and -.286 (11 kills, 13 errors).

Specifically, JBU’s blocking game proved effective when they needed it most. They had 5 solo blocks and 16 combos to prevent SAGU from getting another win.

SAGU dropped to 14-13 overall and are now 7-6 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. John Brown, who won the first meeting between the teams, 3-1, improved to 13-16.

The Golden Eagles mark in the SAC, 7-5, lifts them into a three-way tie for third.

Both SAGU and JBU will qualify for the SAC tournament during November 14-16. The regular season champion will serve as host.

The current standings in the conference can be viewed at: 

SAGU was led in kills (15) by junior Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian). Freshman Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) was next with eight.

Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep) racked up 40 assists.

Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) paced the team with 16 digs. Sodich added 11.

SAGU registered a dozen assisted blocks, many coming earlier in the match. Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) and McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) both had three while JJ Abbott (Kenmore, Wash / Cedar Park Christian) and Sodich had two apiece.

Molli Pugh had a career best 16 kills in leading JBU. She was also credited with 17 digs to go along with five assisted blocks.

The Lady Lions service wasn’t as efficient as normal. They had one ace, which was offset by six serving errors. JBU had seven aces and eight errors.

Final Home Date on Tuesday vs OCU at 7:00pm

The Lady Lions final home match of the season is Tuesday, October 29, when they entertain the Oklahoma City University (16-11 / 7-5 in SAC). Start time has been moved to 7:00pm.

It’s also Senior Day. The team will honor all five seniors; Beka Dollar (Weatherford, Tx / Brock HS), Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian), Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS), Calverley and Cox.

SAGU wraps up the regular season on the road at No. 17 Wayland Baptist University on Saturday and at Texas Wesleyan University on November 8.

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

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