NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The SFA Volleyball team has been making some noise this year as they look to do something that has not been done in Nacogdoches in 12 years.
That is how long ago it was for the Ladyjacks to amass a 20 match winning streak. They will look to hit that mark on Saturday when they play host to Nicholls State at 1 pm.
From SFA Athletics
THE FIRST SERVE • Seeking its first 20-match winning streak since 2006, the SFA volleyball team closes out its two-game home stand Saturday afternoon by welcoming Southland Conference foe Nicholls to Shelton Gym for a 1:00 p.m. first serve. • ESPN+ and the ESPN app will carry each and every point of the 51st meeting between the Ladyjacks and Colonels with Greg Miller and Brittany Castledine - the two most knowledgable Southland Conference volleyball minds in the land - providing play-by-play and analysis. • SFA currently leads all of NCAA Division I volleyball with 22 victories and its 19-match winning streak is tied with top-ranked BYU for the second-longest in the nation. Only sixth-ranked Pittsburgh (20-0) has a longer winning streak than the Ladyjacks. • The only Southland Conference team that has not dropped a league match in 2018, SFA is one of 24 teams from the ranks of NCAA Division I volleyball who has not suffered a defeat in conference play. Three of those teams - Rice, SFA and Texas State - are from the Lone Star State. • Another exclusive group that the Ladyjacks are in is one that consists of teams who have not dropped a home match in 2018. Just 29 teams across the NCAA Division I volleyball landscape can make that claim and dating back to last season SFA has won 12-straight matches inside the venerable Shelton Gym. That's the ninth-longest active home winning streak in the nation. • SFA has not lost a true road match this season, either, and is one of just four NCAA Division I volleyball teams who can say that. BYU, Pittsburgh and South Florida are the other squads in that category. • The Ladyjacks' 22-2 start to the season is tied with the 2005 club for the best start through 24 matches in program history. That year, SFA laid claim to the Southland Conference regular season title. • SFA has won nine-straight matches against Nicholls - the Ladyjacks' third-lengthiest active winning streak against a Southland Conference adversary. The Ladyjacks' longest current unbeaten run against a league foe is 10 matches against Lamar and New Orleans.
LAST TIME OUT | SFA 3, vs. New Orleans 1 (10/16/18) • Showcasing its depth once again, the Ladyjacks celebrated their return to Shelton Gym for the first time in the month of October by taking down New Orleans in four sets to stay perfect in Southland Conference action. • For just the fifth time in 2018, SFA dropped the second set and had to contend with a strong blocking presence by the Privateers for the entirety of the evening. New Orleans amassed 14 rejections - the most by an SFA opponent this season. • With fatigue of both the mental and physical variety hitting them hard after Tuesday night's emotional road win at Central Arkansas, the Ladyjacks turned to the outside hitter duo of Corin Evans and Xariah Williams to push them to the finish line. Both registered nine terminations with Xariah Williams matching her career-best in that category. • Evans and Xariah Williams were two of the three Ladyjacks who finished with nine kills. Junior setter Ann Hollas was the other and the Longview, Texas, native finished just one terminations shy of her second triple-double. Hollas racked up 27 assists and 14 digs in the victory. • Joining Hollas in double-double territory was senior setter McKenzie Brewer who posted 23 assists and 10 digs. • As a team, SFA generated 56 kills - its highest total since striking for 57 in a four-set Southland Conference home victory over Houston Baptist back on Thursday, Sept. 27. Those kills helped SFA offset 29 attack errors - the most by the Ladyjacks in a single match this season. • Danae Daron and Anyia Williams finished with eight and seven kills respectively and combined to produce eight of the team's 16 block assists. Those block assists helped keep the Privateers' attacking numbers down as New Orleans hit just .107 for the match.
SCOUTING NICHOLLS | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS SFA vs. Nicholls | 44-6 (.880) In Nacogdoches, Texas | 23-2 (.920) In Thibodaux, La. | 15-3 (.833) At neutral sites | 6-1 (.857) Streak | SFA won nine Last five matches | 5-0 (1.000) Last 10 matches | 9-1 (.900) In three-set matches | 27-1 (.964) In four-set matches | 10-2 (.833) In five-set matches | 7-3 (.700) Humphreys vs. Nicholls | 43-5 (.896) Van Vark vs. SFA | 0-0 (.000) Last meeting | at SFA 3, Nicholls 0 (10/23/17) • Residing in the bottom spot of the Southland Conference standings, Nicholls last tasted victory on Thursday, Sept. 27, when the Colonels bested Southeastern Louisiana 3-0. Since that day, first-year head coach Jay Van Vark's squad has dropped six in a row including two by 3-0 scores, three by 3-1 scores and one by a 3-2 tally. • Saturday's match takes place exactly one year and one day after the Colonels' last road victory. Nicholls has dropped its last 13 road matches, a streak that started in Nacogdoches, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, after the Colonels picked up a 3-1 road triumph at Nicholls on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. • Junior libero Emily Veneble is the only player on Nicholls' roster who has played in all 80 sets and leads the Colonels in digs per set (3.90), total service aces (22) and service aces per set (0.27). • Junior setter Heidi Carpenter has proven her worth time and time against this season as as valuable six-rotation piece for the Colonels. She is of four Southland Conference players who have posted a triple-double in 2018 (11 kills, 25 assists, 16 digs against IUPUI on 9/14) and ranks third on the team in kills per set (1.56). • Offensively, senior outside hitter Brieanna Hill leads the Colonels with a kills per set average of 2.43. Middle blockers Aaliyah Burras (1.50 kills/set) and Kimberly Iwunze (1.41 kills/set) can both generate offense at a high level, too. • The trio of Burras, Hill and Iwunze have produced 66-percent of the Colonels' total blocks. Burras leads the way with a blocks per set average of 0.79. • Nicholls sits in the upper half of the teams in the Southland in terms of service aces. The Colonels' 2018 tally of 111 is the fifth-most in the 13-team league.
COMING UP NEXT • In order to conclude its three-match Southland Conference stretch against Louisiana-based opponents, SFA hits the road once again for a trip to Lake Charles, La., where the Ladyjacks will tangle with longtime foe McNeese. First serve has been set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday night.