Alva Review-Courier -

Lady Muleriders drop GAC opener to (RV) Arkansas Tech in three sets


September 13, 2017

MAGNOLIA, Ark. – The Southern Arkansas Lady Mulerider Volleyball team played inside the W.T. Watson Center for the first time in 2017 and battled early in all three sets before suffering a straight sets loss (16-25, 19-25, 18-25) to (RV) Arkansas Tech in the league opener for both schools on Tuesday evening in Magnolia.

The Lady Muleriders (3-9, 0-1 GAC) took an 11-10 lead in the opening set courtesy of a tie-breaking kill from senior middle hitter Alli O'Banion. Tech (10-0, 1-0 GAC) would answer with a 9-1 run to take the momentum and the opening set.

In the second frame, Southern Arkansas again battled early throughout the set and used a kill from Seven Powers to pull within a point at 12-11. The deficit would remain two points as Tech led 18-16, before engineering a 7-3 run to close out the set before the ten minute intermission.

The Golden Suns would again find a way to distance themselves from SAU in the third set after the Lady Muleriders claimed a 10-9 lead after a quick kill from Savannah Pillow. Tech responded with a long run to pull away as they went on an 11-3 surge to build a seven-point lead at 20-13, before rallying off five kills over the set's next nine points to take the conference opener.

Arkansas Tech hit .529 (19-1-34) in the opening frame, before the Lady Mulerider defense settled in and forced Tech attack percentages of .172 and .188 with 13 total errors in the final two sets. It was long attacks that proved to be the difference for the SAU offense in the loss as the Lady Muleriders suffered 21 attack errors and hit -.046 in the final two sets after connecting for 12 kills to just three errors in a .273 hit effort in the opening frame.

Senior outside hitter Alexia Southern led with nine kills and Powers added seven with freshman middle hitter Bailey Cagle chipping in with five kills. Powers and Cagle added a game-high four blocks each and O'Banion added three.

Pillow contributed with seven assists and four kills, while sophomore setter Alexa Bass led SAU with 18 assists and added eight digs, behind classmate defensive specialist Riley Marsh's team-best nine digs.

The Lady Muleriders turn their attention to this coming weekend as they host the Dr. Margaret Downing Invitational on Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16. Southern Arkansas will play three matches during the weekend with their first action coming on Friday at 10 a.m. against Division I Grambling State. For a full tournament schedule, visit the DMD Tournament Central page here:


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