Friday, November 18, 2011

SLC Tournament: Day 1

During the first day of the SLC tournament, I'll use this space to occasionally post thoughts and comments about the remaining three matches. Currently, Match 2 is underway with UTA and Sam Houston fighting it out to earn the right to meet UTSA in round 2 after the Runners downed the 'Jacks 3-0 in the first match of the day. Check back here in often during the day and all throughout the tournament...

2:02 PM: Amanda Aguilera with a very impressive first set.. carrying UTA to a 26-24 first set win to put Sam Houston State back on their heels. I told folks at lunch I thought this match would go to Sam 3-1, so let's see if this first set loss gets Sam angry and they fight back. Aguilera with 9 kills in the first set... Wow.

3:16 PM: After tying things up at the half, UTA and SHSU still involved in a high quality match. SHSU also got set 3, but most of the overall stats lean the Mavericks way. UTA, in particular is blocking like crazy. I've seen MB Emily Shearin play well at the net in years past, but this has to be one of her best matches of the year. UTA has blocked 13 balls in three sets and Shearin has 7 of those and a few more early in the 3rd set. Kolbe is headed for a record number of attempts this year. She has 53 attacks thru three sets. The most attacks in the conference this year in a three set match is 47 (Kolbe), in a four set match is 64 (Kolbe) and most in a five set match is 65 (Thornton, UTSA). Interview with Northwestern State Co-Head Coach Hugh Hernesman was done during halftime, so I'll post that in just a second...

3:33 PM: We are headed to five sets in this one.. UTA taking advantage of a little more sloppy play by Sam Houston in Set 4.. going to go down to the wire to see who gets to play UTSA tomorrow. Impressed overall with UTA in this match.. especially their play at the net. Totally different than when they were in Nacogdoches mid-way through the season.

4:00 PM: Very very intense match ends in Sam Houston's favor 3-2. Carli Kolbe with 30 kills on 81 attacks.. both numbers shattering SLC highs for this year. Colbe also with 20 digs to lead SHSU. Amanda Aguilera played a great match with 23 kills for UTA and Emily Shearin had 11 blocks on absolutely incredible play at the net. Alicia Shaffer showed why she was Libero of the Year with a great passing day and 37 digs.. which is the 2nd highest tally in SLC play this year. That was an emotional match.. with Kolbe having to carry a heavy fraction the load. The natural question is.. is there anything left in the tank for tomorrow against a tough UTSA team? That was great match, though.. UTA played tough.. their defense was top notch all the way around.. just a missed serve and few serve receive errors late in the 5th proved to be costly.