Career Nights spark SLU rally
Published 8:12 am Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Cicily Hidalgo, Gracie Duplechein and Hannah Haerer each turned in career-best performances and the Southeastern Louisiana University volleyball team rallied from a two-set deficit for its first win of the season, defeating Southern Miss, 15-25, 27-29, 25-20, 25-17, 15-9, Tuesday at the Volleyball Wellness Center.
Hidalgo, the reigning Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week, established yet another career-best on the way to recording a conference-high 30 kills. It marks the third consecutive match Hidalgo has accomplished both feats.
The Southeastern (1-10) comeback gives the Lady Lions their second win over Southern Miss (8-6) in the last three meetings.
Bouncing back from a slow start offensively, SLU hit a season-high .311 against the Golden Eagles. Following a .162 attack percentage in the opening set, the Lady Lions proceeded to hit .299, .378, .433 and .308 in the final four.
For the second time in as many matches, setter Gracie Duplechein handed out a career-high 59 assists. The total number of helpers dished out by the freshman from St. Amant, Louisiana in each of the last two contests are the most by a Southeastern player in a single match since Lindsey Young dished out 58 assists against Southern on Sept. 16, 2010.
Duplechein (12) and Hidalgo (13) each reached double figures in digs, turning in their sixth and fourth double-doubles of the season, respectively. Both had a hand in on a block and Duplechein contributed four kills to go along with a service ace.
Hidalgo, who leads the conference in kills (3.70 per set), becomes the first Southland player to record 30 kills since HBU’s Bailey Banks posted 30, Nov. 1, 2016, at Lamar. She is the first Lady Lion to reach the mark in at least 18 seasons and came just short of tying the program’s single-match record of 33 kills set by Darci Starr in 1993.
Joining Hidalgo in with double-digit kills were Karlee Wilkerson (17) and Crispin Adams (11). Jolie Hidalgo (9) narrowly missed reaching double figures. Wilkerson, a senior from Springfield, Louisiana, hit a match-high .469 on the attack.
Hannah Haerer, a freshman from DeFuniak Springs, Florida, became the third Lady Lion this season to tally nine total blocks. A career-best for Haerer, the mark is also a 2021 single-match high in the Southland. She also recorded three kills.
Ansley Tullis led all players with 25 digs. Calli Collins, a sophomore from Columbus, Texas, added 12 more.
The Lady Lions open Southland Conference action Saturday at Northwestern State (6-9, 0-0 SLC). The first of two matchups this season is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Earlier this spring, SLU defeated Northwestern State, 3-1, also at Prather.
Southeastern’s non-conference match at Jackson State, postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, has been rescheduled for Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center.
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.
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