Volleyball earns first SLC win; drops three sets to Cowgirls

The Lady Lions split a pair of games last week going 1-1 and earning their first Southland Conference win under first year head coach Geno Frugoli. The Lady Lions’ first game took place Thursday, Oct. 27. The game went in their favor with a win over the Lamar Lady Cardinals, a match that saw the Lady Lions take three sets 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18. Southeastern’s next game came Saturday in a loss to the McNeese State Cowgirls, dropping three straight sets, all three 25-18.  

The win on Thursday ended a 14-game losing streak for the Lady Lions and marked their first conference win since September of last season versus McNeese State under former coach Priscilla Morgan. The Lady Lions scored the first nine points, with eight coming off of serves from sophomore defensive specialist Megan McMillin.

“We really came out strong in the beginning,” said Paige Dollison. “You could feel it in everybody. Everyone kept saying ‘I believe,’ ‘This is our game,’ and it felt really good.”

The Lady Lions soon led 19-5 before eventually taking the first set 25-17. The Lady Cardinals played the next match closely with a run bringing the match 13-12, but kills by Elizabeth Ramee and Tamra Grayson gave the Lady Lions the edge, propelling them past the Lady Cardinals 25-21. Grayson finished the game with nine kills. The Lady Lions were looking for the sweep in the next set but Lamar’s Sierra Whittaker earned five of her game high 16 kills in the third set, helping the Lady Cardinals avoid the sweep 15-25. The Lady Lions would rebound in the fourth set taking the match 25-18.

“We had a game plan that we felt would be successful and the girls finally went out and executed it and you see what happens,” said Frugoli.  

Saturday delivered different results for the Lady Lions versus the Cowgirls. In each set, the Lady Lions jumped out to a lead but the Cowgirls would conquer Southeastern each time in the three set sweep. The Lady Lions dropped the first set after leading then falling behind 10-6.

The second set saw the Lady Lions jump out to a 7-4 lead led by Grayson with three kills in the set, but a 21-11 run by the Cowgirls negated the Lady Lions’ momentum and put the set away.

The third and final set was a hard fought one. It contained eight ties and three lead changes, but a late run by the Cowgirls ended the game in victory for McNeese State. Grayson finished the match with 10 kills, followed by Elizabeth Ramee with seven and Paige Dollison and Courtney Donald with six apiece.      

“Just stay hungry through the whole match and not being afraid or tentative. That’s what we’re trying to learn. There’s a lot of young girls out there and they’re going to learn that more and more,” said Frugoli.

The Lady Lions face UT Arlington at home on Thursday at 7 p.m. before wrapping up their home slate on Nov. 5 versus Texas State at 12 p.m.