The East Central University volleyball team will be making a trip to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, to face Ouachita Baptist and Henderson State over the weekend for Great American Conference action.

The Tigers (4-16, 0-7 GAC) will face Ouachita at 7 p.m. Friday and HSU at 2 p.m. Saturday.

While ECU has struggled this season — especially in conference play — there have been a few bright spots.

The Tigers are ranked in the NCAA Top 25 in four categories. ECU is currently No. 4 in team digs (1,397), No. 10 in team total attacks (2,858), No. 18 in team attacks per set (39.15) and No. 18 in digs per set (19.14).

Senior Lily Porsa is also ranked No. 29 in the NCAA for total digs (360) and No. 53 in digs per set (5.14), while senior Alex Campbell is No. 76 in total attacks (634).

Ouachita comes into the weekend with a 10-8 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the GAC, after falling on the road last weekend to Southern Nazarene and Oklahoma Baptist.

The season boxscore shows why the team has a close record. The other Tigers from the league are hitting .208 as a team and allowing a .196 mark. They area also close in assists (11.8/12.0) and digs (16.3/15.7) and are even in service aces (1.1).

Ouachita has five players with over 100 kills for the season, with Kori Bullard leading the way with 169 to go with a .262 (169k56e-431ta) hitting percentage, 16 service aces, 48 digs and 45 (8-37) blocks.

ECU trails 5-3 in the all-time series with Ouachita and hasn’t won in four tries while playing in Arkadelphia.

The Reddies are 10-10 overall and 3-4 in the league after splitting matches last weekend on the road. HSU defeated Southern Naz and lost to Oklahoma Baptist. The Reddies will host Southeastern on Friday before welcoming the Tigers.

HSU trails or is even with its opponents in most statistical categories, except in service aces, where they lead 1.5 to 0.9 and assists (12.2/11.8).

The Reddies have six players with over 100 kills on the season and one with over 200. Courtney Bolf leads the pack with 252 kills, 22 service aces, 264 digs and 22 block assists.

The Tigers lead the all-time series with HSU 8-3 overall and are 5-2 in GAC action and 3-1 when playing on the road. However, ECU has lost to the Reddies in the last two outings.

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Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.