Raucous crowd spurs SLU comeback win
The Southeastern Louisiana University volleyball team, spurred on by an enthusiastically loud crowd at the University Center for the annual Dig the Lions promotion, rallied from a set down Thursday to defeat McNeese, 22-25, 26-24, 11-25, 25-21, 15-11, in Southland Conference action.
Playing its home opener, SLU (4-11, 3-1 SLC) fought back twice against the Cowgirls (8-7, 2-2 SLC). Both teams came into the match tied for third place in the conference standings, one match in back of both Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and HBU, the Lady Lions’ upcoming opponent.
In the opening set, Southeastern clawed back from an early four-point deficit to tie up the score, 8-8, on a Cowgirl attack error. Falling behind again, the Lady Lions eventually pushed ahead by three, 17-14, on back-to-back kills by Crispin Adams and Gracie Duplechein. McNeese bounced back with seven consecutive points, riding the momentum to a victory in the first set.
SLU bounced back in the second, holding off the Cowgirls, before falling behind once again by a set after struggling through the third.
Righting the ship offensively, Southeastern powered past the Cowgirls by hitting .343 in the fourth set. Wiping out an early three-point deficit, the Lady Lions took advantage of McNeese miscues early in the set to build a 9-7 lead. After the Cowgirls tied it up, 10-10, SLU built a lead it would never relinquish. Freshman Hannah Brewer provided three kills in a four-point span to spark the Lady Lions.
In the fifth and final set, another kill by Adams capped a four-point run that put Southeastern up, 8-5, as the Lady Lions fought off the Cowgirl attack to finish off the match.
Cicily Hidalgo, a freshman from Opelousas, Louisiana, led all players with 26 kills. Karlee Wilkerson (9), Addie Vidrine (7) and Adams (6) added to the SLU offensive effort, but it was Brewer’s effort over the final two sets that made the Lady Lion attack lethal.
Entering the contest in the fourth set, the freshman from Benton, Arkansas, hit .625 with five kills. She also had a hand in three blocks.
Gracie Duplechein dished out 33 assists and Ariana Hebert chipped in an additional 13 for Southeastern.
Ansley Tullis led SLU with 16 digs, but it was an improved presence at the net that helped solidify the win as the Lady Lions posted double-digit blocks (14.0) for the first time in conference play. Hidalgo led the team with six total blocks while Adams and Hannah Haerer had five apiece.
HBU (12-6, 3-1 SLC) dropped its Thursday match at Northwestern State, so the Lady Lions enter Saturday’s match tied for second place in the Southland standings.
First serve versus the Huskies is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in the University Center. Admission is free to all home matches this season and fans are asked to enter the arena upstairs at Gate 3.
Live stats will be available with the link found on the volleyball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
Southeastern’s upcoming conference match, Thursday at Nicholls, has been pushed up half an hour to 6:30 p.m.
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.