SAGU netters sweep No. 19 OCU in SAC opener

Lady Lions record third consecutive sweep in first conference match

SAGU Athletics
The SAGU volleyball team huddles during a recent match.

The red-hot SAGU volleyball team completed the 3-0 sweep (25-16, 26-24, 25-19) over No. 19 Oklahoma City University on Monday night at the Sheaffer Center to open up the beginning of Sooner Athletic Conference play.

The Lions, standing currently at 4-1, have won nine sets in a row giving them three straight sweeps.

This marks the first time in five seasons that SAGU has taken down powerhouse Oklahoma City, who before Monday's matchup had a streak of 36 SAC wins.

The Lions were on a mission from set one going on a 12-5 run to turn what started as two-point deficit into a 25-16 victory. The battle continued into the second set as both teams exchanged kills, but it was SAGU who snagged three straight points to take the set victory. With the momentum on their side, the Lions would go on to take an early eight straight points in the third set giving them the sweep and their first conference win of the 2021 season.

Coming off SAC Attacker of the Week honors, Alexis Mealer led the SAGU offense with 17 kills and hitting .571. Emma Tompkins led the SAGU defense with 6 blocks, and Riley Burcham had double-double numbers with 29 assists and 12 digs.

In San Antonio over the weekend, the SAGU volleyball team swept both matches in the final day of the OLLU ShinDIG Tournament. The Lions won six straight sets between both games against University of the Southwest and Our Lady of the Lake University.

In the first game, SAGU got ahead and stayed ahead as they won each set against University of the Southwest by a margin of seven or more points. SAGU dominated from start to finish on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they accrued 44 kills, 10 aces, and 43 assists as a team. Defensively, the Lions stayed on the gas pedal with 59 digs as a team and 5 blocks.

Burcham had her second double-double of the season with 34 assists and 10 digs, while Tompkins had 11 kills, 3 assisted blocks, and 2 serving aces.Mealer had 11 kills and hit .688 throughout the match, and Madi Petten had 11 digs leading the SAGU defense.

In Game 2, SAGU battled Our Lady of the Lake University in each of the three sets, but SAGU was still able to complete the sweep getting their second win of the day and the third win on the weekend.

The Lions defense stayed strong throughout the day as they accumulated 10 blocks and 68 digs, which would ultimately lead to the win in the third set. The play of the game came from Faith Marroquin in the third set at 23-23. In a long rally, Marroquin took a ball off a block and pushed it straight to the back corner of the floor, putting the Lions up 24-23. SAGU would go on to win the match 25-23 after a huge block from Mealer and Tompkins. After two victories on the second day of the OLLU ShinDIG Tournament, the Lions ended the weekend 3-1.

Mealer had 10 kills on 29 attempts with a .241 hitting percentage, while Ava Myers had 11 kills and hit .237 and Tompkins had 8 kills and 4 blocks. Other contributors included Burcham with 34 assists and 9 digs; Tessa Glick with 23 digs and Petten with 11 digs.