The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

Lady Lions break out the brooms, sweep SLC rivals for twelfth straight win

Senior+outside+hitter+Kailin+Newsome+serves+the+ball+to+begin+the+point+against+Northwestern+State.+%28Oct.+14%2C+2023+-+Hammond%29+
Kennith Woods
Senior outside hitter Kailin Newsome serves the ball to begin the point against Northwestern State. (Oct. 14, 2023 – Hammond)

The SLU Lady Lions continued their reign of terror over the Southland Conference (SLC) with dominant sweeps over Lamar (25-21, 25-10, 25-12) and Northwestern State (25-23, 25-21, 25-16). 

The pair of victories extended SLU’s win streak to twelve games. They continue to sit atop the conference at 18-4 (9-1 SLC). In their historic winning stretch, they’ve only dropped a combined three sets. 

In the matchup against Lamar on Thursday, Oct. 12, SLU marched into Beaumont, Texas and dominated the home team in each statistical category. At one point in the second set, the Lady Lions won eight straight points to take an insurmountable 24-8 lead against the woeful Cardinals. 

Senior outside hitter Kailin Newsome notched her eleventh double-double, tallying 16 kills and 11 digs, while junior setter Gracie Duplechein finished with 37 assists. 

Their Saturday, Oct. 14, match was against the lone SLC rival to defeat them thus far this season. The Demons handed the Green and Gold their only conference loss on Thursday, Sept. 14, a close 3-2 defeat in Natchitoches following their astounding victory against LSU. Exactly one month later, under the 2022 championship banner in the Pride Roofing University Center, the Lady Lions soundly paid them back in full. 

The first set went down to the wire and for a while, it looked as though Northwestern State would capture the first set with relative ease, as multiple errors from a litany of Lady Lions resulted in a 17-10 deficit. 

SLU managed to compose themselves, though, before clawing back into the set, rattling off an 11-3 run to snatch back the lead, 21-20. Newsome and senior middle hitter Jacqueline Arrington each recorded a triplet of kills, all assisted by Duplechein. A kill from junior setter Rachel Hartmann sealed the set in the Lions’ favor, 25-23.

Duplechein continued to put on an assisting clinic in the second set, as the St. Amant native assisted on 17 of the Lady Lions’ 25 points. In total, she matched her season-high with 46 assists, including recording her 2000th career assist.

Duplechein said it felt pretty good to reach the milestone following her first few years of adversity on the team and credited her teammates for allowing her to be successful. 

The third set was the usual brand of SLU dominance we’ve come to expect this season. Newsome terrorized the Northwestern State defense, racking up six kills and an ace. Southeastern built a nine-point cushion and never looked back, winning the set and their twelfth match in a row, 25-16. 

The Wichita State transfer finished another stellar performance with 21 kills and 18 digs, her twelfth double-double this season, while redshirt sophomore libero Lexi Gonzalez logged four aces, keeping Northwestern State on their heels all afternoon.

Newsome’s performance earned her the SLC Offensive Player of the Week award, her third this season. 

Head Coach Jeremy White commended his squad for their hard nosed play and their ability to rally around each other. 

White said, “We talk a lot about being confident and composed and playing gritty. I think that a team’s grittiness is the most important quality for a team to be successful. How often can you get blocked, miss a serve or make a bad play, get back up and keep pushing for points and will your team to a victory, even if it’s not perfect?” 

Newsome said she’s looking forward to this week’s game against HCU, acknowledging the difficulties SLU had in their 3-2 comeback victory against the Huskies on Thursday, Oct. 5. 

“I think we need to swing hard and swing high because they’re a big blocking team. We had a little bit of trouble with that last week, so hopefully this time we can get it together,” Newsome said.  

The Lady Lions’ SLC rampage will continue at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, when they face off against HCU in Houston for the second and final time this season. Following last season’s title victory over the Huskies and their recent close win, the Lady Lions will once again aim to emerge victorious in this budding SLC rivalry.

After HCU, they’ll take the 4.5-hour drive north for their second matchup against Texas A&M-Commerce at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21. 

Visit Lion Sports and The Lion’s Roar for more SLU Volleyball content.  

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About the Contributor
Kennith Woods, News Editor
Kennith Woods is a sophomore communication major with a concentration in television and multimedia journalism and a creative writing minor. A resident of Prairieville, Kennith is The Lion’s Roar’s newly-minted news editor. His passion for progressive change within our communities is the driving factor behind his educational pursuits, as he wants to use journalism to facilitate vital information to the public and simultaneously serve as a mouthpiece for the people’s needs and concerns.
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