Lady Lions sweep past Northwestern State to open SLC slate
HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana University volleyball team opened its Southland Conference slate in resounding fashion, sweeping past Northwestern State in straight sets; 25-13, 29-27, 25-20, Thursday night at the University Center.
After dominating the first set, the Lady Lions had to make a big rally in the second set as part of attaining the sweep. SLU found itself defending against set point at 24-19, and the Lady Lions did the work needed, scoring the next five points to even the set at 24-24 on a Hannah Brewer kill to force extra rallies.
After fighting off five set points to force the extra rallies, the Lady Lions had to fight off one more at 25-24, but back-to-back kills by Karlee Wilkerson turned it into set point for SLU. The third time would be the charm for the Lady Lions in the set as SLU turned its third set point opportunity into the clinching one as a NSU attack into the net ended the set at 29-27.
After dropping the first point of the third set, SLU scored the next four straight and eight of the next nine to open up an 8-2 lead. NSU came back to tie the set at 15-15, but the Lady Lions scored the next four to reclaim the lead and would not give it up again as a service ace by Cicily Hidalgo ended the match.
“I thought we served really tough,” said SLU Head Volleyball Coach Jeremy White. “We made them get out of their system a lot and made it a little bit easier for us to play defense. At times we were really effective offensively, and at times I thought they did a great job blocking and just doing their job on the other side of the court, which made it really tough in the second and third sets. But all-in-all, coming out in the first conference opportunity and coming out 1-0, I’m pretty proud of our kids.”
Karlee Wilkerson had an efficient night on the attack for SLU, getting a team-high 11 kills on 20 total attacks with no errors for a .550 hitting percentage in the match. Cicily Hidalgo put down ten kills in 32 total attacks. Gracie Duplechein tallied 24 assists, a kill, a service ace, and a solo block. Ansley Tullis, the reigning SLC Defensive Player of the Week, led the team with 12 digs and had a service ace.
SLU dropped in 11 service aces in the match with Kailin Newsome hitting four of them and Cicily Hidalgo dropping in three.
The Lady Lions (9-2, 1-0 SLC) head into the Battle of the Boot this weekend, looking to close out non-conference play strongly, opening with a team they’ve already gotten a look at in Louisiana-Monroe.
“We got to see them in our exhibition match at the beginning of the year,” continued White. “They’ve had some decent wins. They took out HBU in one match, they’ve been playing a lot tougher. They’ve got some middles that gave us some trouble the last time we played them. I think we’ll have to try to take their middles out of the game by serving aggressive. If we do that, I think it’ll be pretty decisive for us.”
Opening serve of the Lady Lions match against the Warhawks (4-7) is set for 7:00 P.M. and is the nightcap of four scheduled matches of the first full day of the Battle for the Boot at the University Center.
DIGGIN’ IT CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the Southeastern volleyball program are encouraged to join the Diggin’ It Club. Lion volleyball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diggin’ It Club and S Club (volleyball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern volleyball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at email@example.com or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lady Lions Volleyball, follow @LionUpVB or @JWhiteSLU on Twitter, @LionUpVB on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
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As a New Orleans-area native, Jude grew up a fan of all sports and teams in the area. It’s a passion for the games that brought him into the fields of sports broadcasting and journalism. Whether he’s informing, reporting or entertaining, Jude brings his own special flavor to the task at hand. This Jesuit High School and Loyola New Orleans…