NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
THE FIRST SERVE
• For only the fourth time in program history, the Stephen F. Austin volleyball team (12-7, 5-1 Southland) makes a road trip to Abilene Christian (5-17, 4-3 Southland) to face the Wildcats and finish off a stretch of three straight league matches away from Nacogdoches. SFA will try to retain their spot as one of the league’s top two teams when first serve occurs at 6:30 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.
• Following last Saturday’s 3-1 win at Incarnate Word, the Ladyjacks seek to string together consecutive road wins for the first time in 2016. SFA will try and accomplish that goal against an Abilene Christian squad that is winless in its five all-time matchups against the Ladyjacks with Debbie Humphreys as head coach. The only win ACU has against Stephen F. Austin came on September 16, 1983.
• As she continues to scale the Ladyjacks’ all-time blocking charts, senior Justice Walker can also become the latest entrant into SFA’s 1,000 career kills club by firing in 17 more winners. This season, Walker has added 139 kills on the strength of the third-best hitting percentage (.304) in the Southland Conference to her total of 844 for 983 kills. Additionally, Walker has finished with 11 or more kills in three of SFA’s six conference matches this season.
• Those unable to make the journey to Abilene can follow each and every point of the Southland Conference showdown between the Ladyjacks and Wildcats via live statistical coverage and a live video feed - both of which have been provided by the Abilene Christian office of athletic media relations. The links to those service are available on the official website of Stephen F. Austin athletics - SFAJacks.com.
• Once they hit the court against the Ladyjacks on Thursday evening, the Wildcats will be taking part in just their fourth home match of 2016. In all of its previous 2016 Moody Coliseum tilts, however, Abilene Christian has been victorious in either four or five sets. Through the last two seasons, ACU has racked up a 9-2 record in their home facility with one of those setbacks coming against the Ladyjacks.
• Each of the three Southland Conference losses the Wildcats have suffered this season have come in three sets and eight of those nine sets have been decided by four or fewer points. Abilene Christian is coming off a 3-0 setback at Houston Baptist on Monday night.
• The Wildcats may sit 13th out of 13 SLC teams in kills per set (10.43), but that hasn’t been because of the efforts of Jacey Smith. She has generated 221 of ACU’s 834 total kills (26.5-percent) and is one of three Wildcats who have 18 or more service aces to their credit.
• What they lack in eye-popping offensive numbers, the Wildcats make up for in front row defense. On the strength of five players who have totaled 40 or more blocks this season, ACU ranks second in the Southland Conference with a blocks per set average of 2.40. ACU’s 192 total blocks represent the most of any league squad by 17.5 and pacing things in that department are Lexi Mercier (1.08 blocks/set) and Lauren Walker (1.15 blocks/set). Among all SLC players, Walker ranks third in blocks per set while Mercier sits in fifth.
• Kendall Bosse poses the main threat at the service line for ACU with her team-best 23 aces (0.30 per set) and the setter has totaled 539 assists in 2016 - good for a per-set average of 7.09.
• From the libero position, Amanda Chapa ranks in the upper half of the league with her team-leading 4.40 digs per set. In Southland Conference matches, her digs per set average of 5.16 is the second-best in the 13-team league.
THE LAST TIME OUT
• Leaning on a season-high 17 kills from junior Abby McIntyre, the Ladyjacks brushed off their only Southland Conference loss of the season thus far by capturing a 3-1 victory at Incarnate Word on Saturday morning.
• McIntyre finished one kill shy of matching her career high and committed just one hitting error in 30 swings for an attack percentage of .533. With McIntyre’s strong effort, the Ladyjacks posted a team hitting percentage of .289 - their highest in a Southland Conference match this season.
• During a 25-15 win in the third set, the Ladyjacks pounded down 14 kills on 19 swings and one error. That gave them a hitting percentage of .684 in the frame - the highest team hitting percentage in a single set this season. SFA’s previous single-set high was .500 (15K, 3E, 24A) during a 25-10 set one victory over South Dakota State on August 26.
• In addition to her match-high 41 assists, freshman Ann Hollas added three of SFA’s four solo blocks in the win. Those rejections represent both a career high for Hollas and the most by an SFA player in a single match this season.
• As a part of the Ladyjacks’ 12-block outing against the Cardinals, freshman Danae Daronmatched a career-high with seven block assists. Justice Walker added one solo rejection an a block assist in the match, lifting her career total in the solo block department to 50. Walker became the 10th player in recorded SFA history to amass 50 or more solo blocks in a career. This season, the Ladyjacks have racked up 10.0 blocks or more in nine matches.
• Of the 66 digs the Ladyjacks registered in the match, Haley Coleman and Corin Evans tied for team-high honors by racking up 15 each.
• Following an absence of nearly three weeks, the Ladyjacks will make their return to Shelton Gym in order to continue their run against Southland Conference opponents. First up is a Thursday evening match against Central Arkansas at 6:30 p.m., in which SFA takes aim at a second-straight home victory over the Sugar Bears. That tilt will be carried nationwide on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.