From SFA Athletics
A round-trip journey from the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University to the city of New Orleans requires one to set aside roughly 12 hours.
SFA needed substantially less time than that - just over an hour, to be precise - to take down the New Orleans Privateers and keep its Southland Conference record perfect.
Senior Corin Evans pounded down a match-high 12 kills and the Ladyjacks' defense held New Orleans to an attack percentage of .030 en route to a 3-0 victory over the Privateers Wednesday night at the Human Performance Center.
SET ONE | rv SFA 25, New Orleans 17• With an upset on their minds, the Privateers traded points with the Ladyjacks through the early stages of the match. Neither side enjoyed a lead of more than two points through the infancy of the match which featured seven ties. • It wasn't until Evans started a 5-0 Ladyjack run with her fourth termination of the night that the visitors started to pull away. Included in that surge were kills from Ariana Pagan and Xariah Williams which helped the Ladyjacks open up a 17-12 lead. • Though the Privateers made things interesting by closing the gap to two, 17-15, with a 3-0 run out of their timeout, SFA answered with another sizable run in order to take the set. Pagan and Taya Mitchell teamed up for both of the visitors' two blocks in the set through the Ladyjacks' 8-2 run to conclude the frame. • Two unforced attack errors as well as a ball handling error by the Privateers during that run helped SFA close things out.• SFA finished with a 16-6 edge in kills through the opening frame which helped offset a .091 attack percentage by the visitors. Fortunately, SFA's defense played a large part in it getting the upper hand as it held New Orleans to a clip of .000 through the first.
SET TWO | rv SFA 25, New Orleans 10• After failing to reach an attack percentage of .100 in the opening frame, the Ladyjacks' adjustments on offense were apparent all through the middle frame. • Consecutive terminations from Mitchell followed with a service ace off the hands of Margaret Dean pushed SFA ahead 3-0 early in the middle set and the Ladyjacks never gave up that lead. • New Orleans' longest scoring run of the set came in the early stages when the Privateers trimmed SFA's lead to 3-2 thanks to a termination and a solo block by Ehize Omoghibo. • SFA really opened things up near the midway point of the frame when a 6-0 run hiked its edge from 13-7 to 19-7 and all but put the set out of reach. Mitchell and Hollas combined for a block and each of them also hammered home a kill during that surge. • Evans took over at the tail end of the set, pounding down three kills through SFA's 5-1 run to conclude the frame. • All told, SFA generated another 14 kills but committed only a pair of attack errors and finished with a hitting percentage of .444 through the frame. Once again, New Orleans was held to .000 after committing five errors against an equal number of kills.
SET THREE | rv SFA 25, New Orleans 20• Daron and Evans joined forces for a block that capped a 6-1 SFA run to start the set and the Ladyjacks never looked back from there. • SFA received an ace from Pagan, a combo block courtesy of Hollas and Mitchell as well as yet another termination from Evans that pushed its lead to 17-8. New Orleans, however, made things interesting before all was said and done. • Hoping to grab their first lead since 3-2 in the first set, the Privateers whittled a 10-point SFA lead all the way down to four before the Ladyjacks ended things. Up 19-9, SFA witnessed Omoghibo and Lucie Pokorna lead their team on an 11-5 run that cut the Ladyjacks' lead to 24-20. Each of the aforementioned Privateers generated two kills through the surge.• Dean finally ended things, dumping in her second and final kill of the night to put the finishing touches on SFA's 10th consecutive victory. • SFA hit .219 through the final set while the Privateers operated at an offensive efficiency of .088.
KEY PERFORMERS/STATISTICS OF NOTE• Evans finished with nine fewer kills than the Privateers did as a whole, generated a match-high 12 to lead SFA. • Hollas once again flirted with a triple-double, posting eight kills, 12 assists and nine digs to go along with a pair of block assists and one of SFA's three service aces. • Daron and Williams came up with six and five terminations respectively while the former added a trio of rejections. • Mitchell ended her night with a match-high four blocks, pushing her season total to 101. She's just the third player in all of NCAA Division I volleyball so far this season to reach 100 or more rejections. • A couple of strong back-row defensive performances came from Pagan (12 digs) and Maddie Miller who scooped up a match-high 14 digs. • Six of the Privateers' 21 kills came off the mitts of Omoghibo who also accumulated two blocks. New Orleans' attack percentage of .033 is the lowest attack percentage by a Southland Conference opponents against SFA since Abilene Christian hit .000 on Nov. 3, 2018. • SFA has now won 25 consecutive sets - the longest streak of consecutive sets won in the history of the program. The Ladyjacks also bested the Privateers in just three sets, making it eight consecutive sweeps which is another program record.