On Friday night John Brown University lost 3-0 to Texas Wesleyan University. The loss set up a showdown for third place in the Sooner Athletic Conference between Southwestern Assemblies of God University and JBU. JBU had beaten SAGU 3-0 earlier in the season, but this time SAGU (10-3, 17-6) beat JBU (10-4, 17-9) 24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 26-24.
Madeleine Hartline led SAGU in hitting percentage (10-2-17) at a .471 clip.
Alexis Mealer led SAGU in kills with 18 and hit .325 in the match.
Ava Myers just kept swinging and worked her way to 16 kills despite hitting only .077 on the evening.
Sophia Ivy added 54 assists on the evening to her career total.
Nikki Almaguer, a Waxahachie junior, led the Lions with 32 digs and Aeriel Horton, also a hometown junior, added 16 digs in solid defensive efforts.
SAGU had eight blocks in the four sets.
SAGU hit .206 (63-32-160) while holding JBU to a .142 (42-21-148) hitting percentage.
SAGU came out of the gate hot in the first set building to an 18-10 lead before the wheels came off in the set. JBU managed to outscore SAGU 16-6 over the rest of the set to win set one 26-24.
The Lady Lions built an 18-12 lead in the second set as Brittany Stallaby served the first four points of the set. From there SAGU off a determined JBU team to win the set 25-21.
Set three was as tight as an SAGU/JBU match is expected to be with the match tied at 13 all prior to SAGU going on a 7-1 tear to take a 20-14 lead. SAGU continued its dominance in the set and won 25-17 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set four was tightly contested from the outset as JBU desperately attempted to force a Set five in the match. SAGU led 3-1 and from there neither team led by more than one point until SAGU attempted to break away at 15-12. This time JBU did not let SAGU pull away as they had in the two previous sets and tied the match at 20-20.
“I am proud of our young team,” SAGU head coach Hank Moore said. “There was about five opportunities where our youth could have caved in and given way to a more experienced JBU team. Fortunately, we were able to mentally rebound and play through those issues.”
SAGU Volleyball will be on the road for the coming weekend. The Lady Lions will go to Bethany, Okla. to play Southwestern Christian University on Friday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, SAGU will take on conference-leading Oklahoma City University at 1 p.m.