Volleyball wins two in Houston

The Lady Lions (6-7) defeated both Alabama A&M (1-14) and Prairie View A&M (0-12) but could not keep the streak going and were defeated by the Houston Cougars.

The Lady Lions travelled to Houston to participate in the University of Houston’s Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup at the UH Athletics/Alumni Center from September 18 to 19.

The Lions started the tournament defeating Alabama A&M in three sets, 25-18, 25-17 and 25-15. They came back from a four-point deficit in the first set leading them to a victory. 

“Overall I thought we played well, but we still needed to work on maintaining focus through ut the match,” said Head Coach Jim Smoot. 

Sarah Friedman contributed eight kills to lead the offense. Landry Bullock, Rachael Bunn and Tiffany Thomas each contributed six kills. Haley Baker and Mikayla Shippy split setting duties. Baker had 19 assists and Shippy had 12 assists. The Lady Lion’s also had six aces in the three sets with Shelby Devlin contributing.

The Lions had nine blocks throughout the three sets. Devlin had five blocks and Bunn had four blocks. Freshman Monica Ramon led the team with eight digs.

The second game of the weekend, the Lions defeated Prairie View 25-8, 25-22 and 25-23. The Lions crushed the Lady Panthers in the first set, but the Panthers came back and played a hard fight. 

Freidman and Madi Odom each had 11 kills to lead the Lady Lions. Baker and Shippy split setting duties for this game as well. Shippy had 19 assists while Baker had 17. Brooke Balser, also led with 13 digs.

The final game of the tournament was versus Houston (10-2). The game had five sets with Houston defeating the Lady Lion’s 20-25, 25-15, 25-18, 23-25 and 15-10. 

The Lions took the first set with a .619 attack percentage and no attack errors in the set with 13 kills in 21 attempts. 

The Lady Cougars took the next two sets, but the Lions put up a fight taking the fourth set leading into a fifth set.

The Lions took an early lead with 7-6 in the final set with a kill by Veronica Turk. Unfortunately, the Lions could not hold on and were defeated in the final set.

“Madi Odom and Rachael Bunn made the All Tournament team,” said Smoot. “Madi was a 6 rotation player for us and was very consistent. Rachael was one of our leading attackers and led the team in blocking.”

Thomas led with 10 kills for the Lions while Odom and Turk added eight kills to the offense. While again sharing setting duties, Shippy had 25 assists and Baker had 11. 

“Our goal as we enter conference play is to 1. make the conference tournament, and then 2. win the tournament and secure the automatic bid for post season play,” said Smoot.

The Lady Lions open up Conference play this week with two games on the road. They play Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Thursday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m. and Houston Baptist Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m.

For a full schedule and stats, check out lionsports.net.