Lady Lions visit Sin City

Lady Lions volleyball

The Lady Lions celebrate after scoring a point versus Troy University earlier this season. 
The Lion’s Roar / Elizabeth Brown

The Lady Lions volleyball team participated in a three-game volleyball tournament this past Friday. The Lady Lions were beaten in the first two games of the Rebel Challenge, but bounced back winning the final game in Sin City. The University of Las Vegas hosted the Rebel Challenge, with Portland State, Southeastern and Oral Roberts as participants.  

The first game was played against the UNLV Rebels, and the Lady Lions ended three points behind UNLV. According to lionsport.net, the final score of the game was 0-3, with UNLV on top. Despite the loss, the Lady Lions were fairly effective, with senior right side Tiffany Thomas making 13 kills during the game. Brooke Balser led the team with 12 digs. Senior setter Mikayla Shippy contributed 21 assists to the team effort. As for UNLV’s players, they were led by Alyssa Wing with 10 kills, Alexis Patterson with 31 assists, and Carly Riehl with 13 digs.  

The second game was against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. After winning the second set of the game, the Lady Lions fell short towards the end for a final score of 1-3. Despite being beaten in the first two sets, the Eagles turned the tables during the final sets, soaring to victory. As for team effectiveness, Thomas led the Lady Lions for kills once again, with nine kills during the game. Junior middle blocker Rachael Bunn and  junior outside hitter Landry Bullock also contributed to Southeastern’s team effort, each putting seven kills on the board. Shippy scored 16 assists and also made 16 kills, once again leading the team. As for the Golden Eagles, Shelby Cox put ten kills on the board. She also helped in seven of 13 blocks by the Eagles. As for Lucija Bojanjac, she made 37 assists and 11 digs. Finally, Golden Eagles player Tori Roe made 10 digs.  

The final game was against the Portland State Vikings, where the Lady Lions broke free of the bad luck present in earlier matches with a 3-1 win. The team not only bounced back from previous games, but had a setback during the first two sets against Portland State. In the game, Landry Bullock made 17 kills during the game. Freshman setter Haley Baker led with 22 assists, and senior defensive specialist Brooke Balser led for digs with 24. As for Portland State, they were led for kills by Eva Linden. Erin Clark led the Vikings with 21 assists, and Tasha Bojanic led with 23 digs. 

“During the matches on Friday, we didn’t play with much confidence, and got away from playing our usual game,” said volleyball head coach  Smoot. “During Saturday’s, we demonstrated confidence that the tactics and techniques developed in our practices are the path to victory.”

According to lionsports.net, attendance was fair for all games as 126 attended the game against Portland State, 116 attended the game against Oral Roberts, and 206 were present for the game against UNLV. However, these stats only give a surface view of the games. Once again, media turned to Smoot for elaboration.  

“It was a great place to play. We had to adjust to the elevation and its effect on the ball. And the support of the player’s families who made the trip out to Vegas was great to see.”

The Lady Lions have come home since their participation in the Rebel Challenge. They will next play in Baton Rouge against Southern University.  The game is set for September 15th, at 6:30 p.m. at Southern University.