The first Great American Conference match for the East Central University volleyball team was a good statement, with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-16) win over Southwestern Oklahoma State.
The Lady Tigers (4-6, 1-0 GAC) were led by senior Danielle Essix, who tallied her fourth double-double of the season. Essix garnered 11 kills and 12 digs, while adding a .360 (11k-2e-25ta) hitting percentage. Sophomore Hayley Gerken added a team-high 12 kills, while senior Sarah Nelson had five block assists.
The opening set saw ECU take an early 3-0 advantage that they grew into an 11-3 lead, with strong overall play. The Bulldogs (4-9, 1-1 GAC) cut the advantage to four (13-9) with a 6-2 run, but the Lady Tigers kept the advantage around four-to-five points until late in the set.
With ECU leading 21-16, SWOSU made a final attempt to take the first-set win by going on a 7-1 run to earn a 22-23 lead. The Lady Tigers were not done fighting and used a block and two kills to earn the next three points for the 25-23 win.
Set two again saw ECU earn an early advantage, this time 5-2. The Bulldogs didn’t wait as long to come back this time and tied the set at 11, with a 9-6 run. The set remained close, with SWOSU taking a 17-13 lead. The Bulldogs were up 20-16 when the Lady Tigers made a late push and used a 9-1 run to earn a 25-21 win.
The third set was close at first with five ties and three lead changes, with the final tie coming at 11-all. ECU used a 4-0 run to take a 15-11 lead and kept it around four-or-five points until late in the set. With the Lady Tigers up 19-15, ECU was propelled to the 25-16 win with a 6-1 run.
While the Lady Tigers were out-blocked (9-6), ECU held key advantages in hitting percentage and service aces to earn the win. The Lady Tigers hit .205 as a team and held the Bulldogs to a .087 mark. ECU also tallied five service aces to SWOSU’s three.
The Lady Tigers will now travel to Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant tonight to face arch rival Southeastern. The first serve is set to fly at 7 p.m..
Women’s golf returns to action
ADA – The East Central University women's golf team will participate in its second tournament of the fall Saturday when they travel to Arkadelphia, Ark., for the Lady Reddie Invitational. Henderson State will host the tournament at the DeGray State Park Golf Course and it will feature two rounds, both played on Saturday.
The Lady Tigers will be one of four teams at the tournament, will all four coming from the Great American Conference. Besides the host Reddies and ECU, Arkansas-Monticello and Ouachita Baptist will be at the event.
The Lady Tigers will have a five-person group consisting of one senior, two juniors, one sophomore and one freshman. Junior Lindsey Lunceford is the only player in the group that was at the event for ECU a year ago. Lunceford finished 17th individually and helped the team earn a fourth-place finish. She shot a 167 (81-86) in the two rounds and has an 82.5 average after one tournament in 2013.
Freshman Molli Taylor and senior Megan Dutton will be competing in their second tournaments of the season. Taylor has an 83.5 average and Dutton has an 84 average so far this season.
Sophomore Sarah DeLong and junior Payton Taylor will round out the field for the Lady Tigers, with both playing for the first time in 2013.