Close game leads to Frugoli’s first win

The Lady Lions and new head coach Geno Frugoli came from two sets down to beat the Jackson State Lady Tigers during their home opener. The win snapped a 14-game losing streak, according to lionsports.net. The match, held on Aug. 30, had an attendance of around 450 people, including several members of different Greek organizations.

“It’s always nice to have the home spirit. They were cheering – we were feeding off it,” said junior middle blocker Courtney Donald. “It was like a back and forth thing.”

“It pumped me up more,” said sophomore middle blocker Kinsey Williams. “I love when fans show up. When I go to another school and they have a ton of fans, it pumps me up. So when our fans are here, and we have the home court advantage, it’s the best we could ask for.”

The first set saw the teams deadlocked twice, but JSU managed to pull away and end the set 25-22. The second set was not as close, as the Lady Tigers finishing the set 25-14. JSU tallied 28 kills in the first two sets against the Lady Lions 20.

But after the second set, things looked up for the Lady Lions.

“We got to calm down and do the things we were supposed to do,” said Frugoli, on his halftime speech. “We talked about the scouting report again and when we started figuring out where the holes were and what we should’ve been doing all along, it became easier for us.”

The third set started off close, but after a kill by Williams, the lead rapidly opened until Southeastern finished the set, winning 25-9. The Lady Tigers, who had 28 kills total in the previous two sets, managed only three while the Lady Lions finished with 12.

The Lady Lions started off the fourth set as close as the rest, but were able to pull ahead with a 20-16 lead before ending 25-19.

The final set, played to 15, went down to the wire. The set saw the score tied three times and the lead changed hands twice, before the Lady Lions came out on top 15-12.

“It was definitely the most important game of the year. This year one of our main focuses is getting the fans out to our home games because last year we didn’t have that many,” said Williams. “We’ve had more than we’ve ever had, so winning that first game, I think will keep them coming.”

Williams led the team with 14 kills and 16 points. Freshman outside-hitter Elizabeth Ramee contributed 33 total attacks for a total of 9.5 points, while senior middle-blocker Paige Dollison tallied eight digs and 11.5 points. Sophomore setter Lindsey Young put up 40 assists, 11 digs, 12.5 points and four aces.

The Lady Lions next home game is tonight at 7 p.m. in the University Center. They will be facing up against the University of Louisiana at Monroe  Warhawks.