POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — Southwestern Assemblies of God University battled College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in the semifinals of the NCCAA National Tournament. The Lions (24-10) fell to the Bobcats (23-13) in five sets (25-23, 18-25, 22-25, 23-25, 12-15).
Alexis Mealer led the way for SAGU with 19 kills. Emma Tompkins (12), Madeleine Hartline (11) and Ava Meyers (10) each recorded double-digit kills.
Sophia Ivy led all players with 52 assists.
The Lions recorded 125 digs for the match led by Nikki Almaguer with 40 followed by Ariel Horton with 27 and Meyers with 22 digs respectively.
SAGU hit .155 for the match compared to .201 from the Bobcats.
The Lions committed 30 errors for the match.
The Lions fell behind early in the first set and found themselves in 14-6 hole. Thanks to some key defensive stops, Bobcat errors, and solid attacking, SAGU used a 19-9 scoring run of their own to steal the first set.
The second started out in a similar fashion as the College of the Ozarks jumped out to an early lead, but SAGU tied it up at 8-8. The Lions committed seven errors allowing the Bobcats to build an eight-point advantage that they would maintain for most of the set before winning it 25-18.
The third set was a battle as the teams traded the lead. The score was tied 10-10 and then there were 6 lead changes before College of the Ozarks created breathing room with a 19-15 lead. An attack error by Mealer gave the set to the Bobcats.
The tight contest continued into the fourth set, but this time the Lions were able to get the victory 25-23 which pushed the game to the final set.
SAGU seemed to run out of steam when it counted most. They committed almost as many errors (4) as they had kills with (5). They were also outhit .154 to .038 and ended up losing the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
The Lady Lions opened the tournament on Thursday with a straight-set victory over Piedmont International University, 25-11, 25-21, 25-15; then swept Mid-America Christian University, 25-23, 25-22, 25-17. In Friday’s quarterfinals, they battled to a four-set victory over Judson (Ill.) University, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21.
This team had a great blend of veteran leadership and youth. They battled hard each possession, each set, and each match. The SAGU community applauds the players and coaches for their dedication and sacrifice during their season. The SAGU faculty, staff and students are proud to have an incredible volleyball program, and a looking forward to many great years ahead.