NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The SFA Ladyjacks Volleyball team is one of the hottest tickets around.
This past Saturday, Shelton Gym was packed to near capacity as the ladies in purple put down the Sugerbears 3-0. Now they turn their attention to Northwestern State on Tuesday night at 6pm.
From SFA Athletics:
THE FIRST SERVE• Two of the remaining five Southland Conference teams that have not suffered a league loss in 2018 are set to clash inside Shelton Gym Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. when SFA plays host to Northwestern State. The longtime rivals are set for the 57th installment of their rivalry which will be carried nationwide on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. The voices of Southland Conference volleyball - Greg Miller and Brittany Castledine - are set to call each and every point of the match.• SFA heads in to Tuesday night's tilt armed with an 11-match winning streak and the nation's second-highest win total. Only Valparaiso (15-2) out of the Missouri Valley Conference has accumulated more wins in 2018 than the Ladyjacks while SFA's winning streak is currently the fifth-longest active streak in all of NCAA Division I volleyball. Only seventh-ranked Illinois (13, 13-0), eighth-ranked Pittsburgh (13, 13-0), top-ranked BYU (12, 12-0) and 15th-ranked Cal Poly (12, 13-1) own longer winning streak and all of those teams are ranked among the top 25 in the land in the latest version of the AVCA Coaches Poll. • After 16 matches, three of the top ten Southland Conference players in terms of attack percentage wear SFA colors. Sophomore Anyia Williams leads the team and the 13-team league with her hitting percentage of .367 while junior middle blocker Danae Daron ranks fifth in the league with a mark of .320. Senior middle blocker Makenzee Hanna is hitting .309, putting her seventh among all Southland players. • The Ladyjacks lead the Southland Conference in six statistical categories including blocks per set (2.42), hitting percentage (.254), kills per set (13.48), winning percentage (.875), total assists (694) and kills (755). On the national scene, SFA's hitting percentage ranks 42nd while its blocks per set average is the 51st-highest nationally. • The 11-match winning streak the Ladyjacks are currently riding is the eighth-longest in the history of the program. SFA has posted four winning streaks of 20 or more matches with its longest coming in 2006 when the team strung together 26 consecutive triumphs.
LAST TIME OUT• Though Central Arkansas remains the only Southland Conference team to possess a winning record against the Ladyjacks, SFA got the better of their foes from the Natural State for the second-straight time Saturday afternoon as the Ladyjacks racked up 12 total blocks to post a 3-0 victory over the Sugar Bears in the Southland Conference opener for both squads.• Senior outside hitter Haley Coleman conjured up her second double-double of the season, netting a match-high 12 terminations to go along with a team-high 13 digs. The Rockwall, Texas, product produced both of the Ladyjacks' service aces in the win as well.• Sophomore Anyia Wiliams continued her strong play at the front of the net, matching a career-high with six blocks. All six of those blocks were block assists and helped SFA limit the damage done by reigning Southland Conference Player of the Year Samantha Anderson (12 kills) and the rest of the Sugar Bears. • The win marked the 350th Southland Conference victory in program history, making SFA the first program in the history of the league to reach the 350-win plateau. No other team in league history has accumulated more than 280 victories.
SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN STATE | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICSOverall vs. Northwestern State | 51-5 (.912)In Nacogdoches, Texas | 25-1 (.962)In Natchitoches, La. | 21-4 (.840)At neutral sites | 5-0 (1.000)Streak | SFA won fourLast five matches | 4-1 (.800)Last 10 matches | 6-4 (.600)In three-set matches | 34-2 (.944)In four-set matches | 13-3 (.813)In five-set matches | 4-0 (1.000)Humphreys vs. Northwestern State | 50-5 (.909)Kiracofe vs. SFA | 1-4 (.200)Last meeting | at SFA 3, NSU 1 (9/23/17)• Following a 3-1 victory over Incarnate Word last Thursday in Natchitoches, La., to begin their Southland Conference schedule, the Demons head to Nacogdoches in search of a 2-0 start and will likely employ their potent front row defense to try and spring the upset. • The Demons rank second in the league with a blocks per set average of 2.25 and leading the charge in that department is Brooke Wood. The middle blocker totaled 10 block assists in last Thursday's victory over Incarnate Word, pushing her to the top of the Southland with a blocks per set average of 1.45 that also stands as the 16th-best in all of NCAA Division I volleyball• Not just a strong team in terms of front-row defense, the Demons' back line has done an excellent job of preventing kills thanks to the efforts of senior Channing Burleson. The libero leads the Southland and ranks 31st nationally with a digs per set average of 5.18.• Possessing a vast array of weapons on offense, the Demons' attacks are more likely than not to go through Reagan Rogers. Her attacks per set average of 11.13 leads the Southland and represents the 13th-highest figure in the nation while helping her average a team-best 3.38 terminations per set. • Hannah Brister (2.65 kills/set) and Madeline Drake (2.23 kills/set) are the Demons' other two primary attackers with the latter leading the team with an attack percentage of .330. POLL POSITION• SFA leaped into the VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major Poll for the first time in 2018 last Tuesday afternoon and will likely make a jump following its three-set victory over Central Arkansas last Sautrday afternoon in Shelton Gym. • In the weekly listing that is released every Tuesday, SFA checked in at number 25 in the nation to make them one of two new teams in the poll. The Ladyjacks are the only team in Texas as well as the only team from the Southland to appear in the poll.
COMING UP NEXT• Thursday night, SFA gets its shot at revenge against one of the two Southland Conference squads who managed to defeat the Ladyjacks in 2017. Houston Baptist heads inside Shelton Gym for a 6:30 p.m. showdown which will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The Southland Conference’s foremost volleyball authorities - Greg Miller and Brittany Castledine - will provide play-by-play and analysis of the match.