SLU comeback falls short in fifth set
Published 3:16 pm Friday, August 27, 2021
After digging itself out of a two-set hole in its season opener Friday at the Newell-Grissom Building, the Southeastern Louisiana University volleyball team dropped a heartbreaker to Gonzaga in five sets, 25-17, 25-13, 16-25, 19-25, 15-12, in the StarkVegas Classic.
Gonzaga (1-0) took advantage of Southeastern’s early offensive struggles to build its advantage, but lineup changes by head coach Jeremy White entering the third set sparked a rally.
Addie Vidrine and India Bennett came off the bench to spark the Lady Lion (0-1) turnaround. A junior outside hitter from Lafayette, Louisiana, Vidrine recorded eight kills while hitting a team-leading .471 over the course of the final three sets. Bennett, a freshman middle blocker from Prairieville, Louisiana, chipped in four kills and a team-high four blocks.
The final set was tied as late as 10-10, but the Bulldogs scored five of the final seven points to win the match.
Preseason All-Southland Conference selection Crispin Adams led SLU with 11 kills, contributing three blocks and a pair of service aces to the effort. Freshman outside hitter Cicily Hidalgo added nine kills and Jolie Hidalgo chipped in seven.
Three players recorded double-digit digs for the Lady Lions, including freshman setter Gracie Duplechein who turned in a double-double with 21 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore libero Ansley Tullis led Southeastern with 18 digs and Cicily Hidalgo added 17 digs to go with a pair of blocks.
Ariana Hebert, a junior setter from Lafayette, handed out 15 assists and served up a pair of aces.
Gonzaga was led by McKenna Marshall (19 kills, three aces) and Cara McKenzie (nine kills, three aces, six blocks). The Bulldogs combined for 11 service aces in the match.
SLU wraps up its participation in the StarkVegas Classic at 4 p.m. Saturday with a match against host Mississippi State (5-15 in 2020).
Live stats are available and Saturday’s contest will be telecast on the SEC Network+ through the ESPN app. Links for both stats and video can be found on the volleyball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
DIGGIN’ IT CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the Southeastern volleyball program are encouraged to join the Diggin’ It Club. Lion volleyball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diggin’ It Club and S Club (volleyball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern volleyball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lady Lions Volleyball, follow @LionUpVB or @JWhiteSLU on Twitter, @LionUpVB on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.