Saturday, January 30, 2021

From the Sideline: SFA 3, Tulane 0 [Match 2, Game Summary]

 New Orleans - The Ladyjack Volleyball squad picked up in the late afternoon right where they left off in the morning by sweeping away the Green Wave of Tulane to pick up their second victory of the day.  The 'Jacks offense ran efficiently in the 3-0 win (25-16, 25-14, 25-21) as SFA hit .235 while holding Tulane to just .082 from the floor.  The win ran SFA's record to 12-4 and ends the non-conference portion of the spring 2021 slate.   The Ladyjacks begin conference play on Thursday against the Islanders of Texas A&M Corpus Christi and will then travel to San Antonio to take on Incarnate Word.

The match was characterized by long scoring streaks by the SFA offense.  Outside hitters Leah Powell and Ariana Pagan were particularly effective.  Powell struck for 9 kills that included a variety of shots both soft and hard, one time making a nifty push the line corner over two defenders.  Pagan's last kill of the match both sealed the victory for SFA and also was her 10th of the match.  That earned her a double-double for the evening to go along with her 12 digs.  

The offense was once again run by the setting duo of Maddy Bourque and Allie Hamsher.  They tallied 27 assists between them and guided an SFA offense that saw balanced production across the board. The 'Jacks went to Senior Middle Blocker Taya Mitchell often early in the match. Overall, she tallied five kills and hit an efficient .444.  After putting up 17 kills in the morning match, right-side hitter Payton Cerny wasn't left out of the evening party as she contributed nine kills against just one error to post an extremely efficient .571 attack percentage. Freshman Ielan Bradley hit from the right when Cerny's rotations were done and she contributed three winners, two of which were down the stretch in the most competitive Set 3.  Fellow freshman Ashley Procious contributed two errorless kills to round out the offense.

The floor defense was on point as well with libero Maddie Miller once again leading the way.  After posting a season high tally in digs during the morning match, Miller came back with 18 more in the nightcap.  Coupled with Pagan's 12, Hamsher's 8 and seven a piece from Bourque and freshman DS Bryli Contreras, the SFA defenders frustrated the Green Wave attack all evening long.  Deep into the second set, Tulane was still hitting at or below .000 overall for the match.  A stronger third set effort pulled the match mark to the aforementioned .082.

Tulane's best shot for a set win was late in the match.  After the 'Jacks opened the third set with a six point run, Tulane fought back and kept the set close throughout its middle portion.  The 'Jacks were able to hang on with kills from Bradley, Powell and the final dagger from Pagan down the stretch.  Bourque was excellent behind the service line with 4 aces as the overall service pressure on the day applied by the Ladyjacks far outweighed what was seen last Thursday night in Houston.

Tulane was led by Lexie Douglass with 12 kills.  She also posted a double-double by gathering 12 digs.  The Green Wave used a different libero in the evening match going to Sophia Ervanian rather than converted OH Makala Heidelberg.  Ervanian had 14 digs to pace the Wave.  Amanda Giardina led with 12 assists and second setter Taylor Henigsman had 9.  Middle Hitter Kayla Dinkins blocked four balls to lead Tulane in that category.

The 'Jacks matches next week will each be carried live here at the blog on SFA VolleyBlog Radio,