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Lady Lions hold their own against No. 17 WBU

Match tied on 22 occasions; Sodich drills 15 kills

Sooner Conference Standings  (below)

PLAINVIEW, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University dropped a three-set match to Wayland Baptist University (25-5 / 11-2 in SAC) on Saturday morning, 20-25, 18-25 and 15-25. But the Lady Lions (15-14 / 8-7 in SAC) made the No. 17 ranked team in the nation sweat.

SAGU battled the Lady Pioneers as taut as new-strung barbed wire through the halfway point in each game. In the end it was the effective play of Wayland's front line that proved to be too much.

The hosts swung for a collective .262, which racked up 42 kills and made just 14 errors. They had seven solo blocks, a category in which they rank #5 in the NAIA.

It was their second best effort of the season. They had another four that were combo blocks.

Wayland held SAGU to .045 hitting. The Lady Lions registered 27 kills, which were offset by 22 hitting errors.


The match saw 10 ties, the last coming at 17-17. Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) blistered six kills and Faith Hardin (Midlothian, Tx / Midlothian HS) had three as the Purple Pride matched whatever Wayland threw at them.

The Pioneers used five kills, two by the 6'1 Chelsey Driskill , and SAGU committed three costly miscues as WBU pulled away to win, 25-20.


A xerox of the first set, with the scoreboard knotted on eight occasions up til it was 13-13.

This time the blue-clad home team took control during a 7-1 run for a 20-14 margin. Their points came via three kills, three SAGU hitting errors and setting mistake.

SAGU fought back when Sodich and McKenzie Criddle (Lake Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS) united for a block, then Criddle denied Shahala Hawkins at the net to draw to within 20-17.

The Pioneers regrouped to win, 25-18, behind a pair of spikes by Grecia Rivera. The 5-foot-7 outside hitter had a sterling effort, hitting .483; 14 kills with no errors.sodich-vs-tex-wes-jvaldez


Coach Hank Moore's team came out hot in the third, grabbing a quick 4-1 lead on kills by Sodich and Hardin and an ace from Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh / Gahanna Christian).

Kills from Sodich and Jessie Giese (Tulsa, Ok / Union HS) both assisted by Taylor Calverley (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep), kept the game tight at 7-7.

The Wayland Women strung together a 10-3 surge for a 17-10 advantage. Four kills, four SAGU errors and a pair of Hawkins aces did the damage.

Down 20-12, the Lady Lions fought back. J.J. Abbott (Kenmore, Wash / Cedar Park Christian)  hammered a kill, then teamed up with Hardin to block Hawkins to slice the deficit to 21-15.

Wayland finished off a 25-15 triumph with a kill and a block by Hawkins.


Sodich paced the Pride with 10 kills, while Taylor was tops in assists with 26.

Kirk had 10 digs and two aces. Brittany Briggs (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and Emmalee Smith (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) added nine apiece.

Season Finale in Ft. Worth on Friday

The Lady Lions end their regular season next Friday, November 8, at Texas Wesleyan University. SAGU won their first meeting, 3-1, in the Sheaffer Center.

Fans are welcome to make the 45-minute trip northwest along highway 287. The match begins at 7:00pm inside the Sid Richardson Center.

SAGU will compete in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament in Shawnee, Oklahoma during Nov. 14-16. The top six teams qualify for the single-elimination event.

Current SAC standings:

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

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