Ladyjacks fall in four sets to hard-hitting Texas State

Ladyjacks fall in four sets to hard-hitting Texas State

From SFA Athletics

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — All good things must come to an end, and invariably it was the 11-match win streak of the Stephen F. Austin women's volleyball team that came to an end Tuesday night in the gymnasium at Central Heights High School in Nacogdoches, Texas. An untimely power outage on the campus of SFA forced a late relocation of the game to the local school, where they fell to Texas State in four sets, 3-1.

The win streak was the longest in the nation heading into the match, and was the team's first loss since August 25. With the loss, the Ladyjacks drop to 11-2 on the season overall. Corin Evans lead the way for SFA with 13 kills, while Peyton Redmond added seven with an attack percentage of .467 in the match. Evans and Lexus Cain each tallied 10 digs in the match, while Ann Hollas tallied 18 assist and Mackenzie Brewer, 15.

"I think we needed tonight," stated SFA head coach Debbie Humphreysfollowing the match. "We needed to be shown where some of our weakness are so we can get in the gym over the next couple of days and work on them and make some positive steps forward before we head to Houston this weekend."

After Evans tied the first set up at 6-6 with the first of her 13 kills in the match, Texas State rattled off six straight points to take a 12-6 lead in the set. After the score got to 14-7, the Ladyjacks went on a 6-2 run, aided by kills from Evans and KK Payne and a service ace by Ann Hollas. A kill by Payne would get the 'Jacks to within two, 17-15, but the Bobcats rattled off eight straight points to take the first set, 25-15.

The Ladyjacks got off to a good start in the second set, as Shayla Eagleton hammered home a kill to get SFA on the board first. The 'Jacks built that kill into a 6-3 run in the early going of the set, only to see Texas State mount a small run to tie the set up at 8-8 apiece. From there, the two teams exchanged several points back and forth, with neither team pulling away. Finally, with the scored tied at 13-13, the 'Jacks formed together a run of their own to take control of the set. Peyton Redmond started the run with a kill, then Mackenzie Hanna and KK Payne got a block at the net to win the next point. After a Bobcat attack error, an ace by Evans and a kill by Payne, the Jacks were up 18-13, prompting a Bobcat timeout.

Out of the timeout, Texas State committed two errors to make it 20-13, Evans connected on another kill and the Bobcats had an attack error to get the score to 22-13. Evans then recorded the unlikeliest of kills, as her third hit to clear the ball off the SFA side fell amongst the Bobcats while none of them made a move for it, making the score 24-13. Texas State would get two quick points shortly thereafter, but they were of no consequence, as a service error gave the Ladyjacks the set two win, 25-15.

In the third set, the Ladyjacks jumped out to a quick lead, capped off by back-to-back attack errors by the Bobcats to make the score 7-3. Texas State responded quickly, however, first tying the game at eight apiece and then moving ahead by an 11-9 tally, capped off by three straight kills. Later, with the score tied 14-14, the Bobcats benefited from two straight Ladyjack errors to take a 16-14 lead, which the Ladyjacks erased with a block by Evans and Hanna and a kill by Evans. From there, the ramifications of playing in a high school gym reared their head, as the Ladyjacks had a dig bounce high into the air and take an unfavorable deflection off the scoreboard, then lost the next point in similar fashion due to the presence of the basketball hoop directly behind them.

Nonetheless, Xariah Williams responded with a powerful kill to trim the lead to 18-17, and a Bobcat attack error brought the score even at 18-18. Williams would add another kill a minute later to cut a Ladyjack deficit to one at 21-20, but the Bobcats rattled off four straight points to close out set three 25-20 and take a 2-1 lead.

The fourth set began with a pair of kills from Texas State to jump ahead 2-0. An SFA attack error pushed that lead to 3-0, before Shayla Eagleton rose up for an authoritative kill to get SFA on the board, 3-1. Evans then followed suit with a kill of her own to make the score 3-2, but Texas State responded with two quick points to pull ahead 5-2. A kill by Corin Evans and two Bobcat errors tied the game up at five apiece, but Texas State responded with a 5-1 one run to take a 10-6 lead and force an SFA timeout.

The deficit grew after the timeout, as the Ladyjacks committed two errors to fall behind 12-6. A kill by Evans ended the run momentarily, but the Bobcats kept their distance, leading 16-10 later in the set and forcing another Ladyjack timeout. The teams exchanged kills three times out of the timeout to get the score to 19-13, and after each team had an attack error, the score stood at 20-14. Evans notched another kill, which was answered by Texas State, then Peyton Redmond put away a kill to make the score 21-16. After another Redmond kill got the score to within 22-17, the Bobcats closed out the set with a 3-1 run to take it by a 25-18 margin and with it, the match.

Next up for the Ladyjacks is play at the Rice Invitational this weekend in Houston, Texas. SFA will play Georgetown at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15, Arkansas State on Saturday, September 16 at 12:30 p.m., and finish the invitational with a matchup against host Rice University on the 16th at 6:00 p.m.