Sports
No. 20 Lions split day, pick up 3-1 win over Mississippi College
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sep 8, 2019
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Arkadelphia, Ark. The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team picked up one win and one loss in the second day of the Reddie/Tiger Invitational on Saturday. After falling in five sets to Ouachita Baptist, the Lions bounced back to defeat Mississippi College in four sets later in the day.
 
The results bring the Lions to 3-1 on the season.
 
A&M-Commerce returns to action next weekend in the Colorado Premiere Challenge in Denver. They begin on Friday with a matchup against the defending national champion Tampa at Noon CT.
 
HEAD COACH CRAIG CASE AFTER THE MATCHES

- On the team's first game: Ouachita played us really tough this afternoon and did a great job of getting us out of sync. We were never really able to get anything going and sustain runs like we normally do. They did a great job of exposing our weaknesses and should give us some stuff to focus on as we continue our efforts to improve."

- On the team's bounceback win in game two: "It was good to have the opportunity to get back on the court today and start addressing our weaknesses. Mississippi College is a really talented team and their style of play really attacked our weaknesses."

- Overall thoughts on the day: "I feel good that we were able to identify adjustments needed and then executed those adjustments. Hopefully we used our loss and win today to get better."

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (OBU)

- Shelley Chapron (Houston St. Pius X) led the team with 19 kills, hitting .486.

- Bina Njikam (Keller) added 14 kills, hitting .310. Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) and Maiya Dickie (Huntsville) added nine kills apiece.

- Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands College Park) led the team with 20 digs. Ashley Pennington (Frisco - Liberty) had 12 digs and 23 assists.

- Natalie Sarbeck (Cypress - Cy Fair) led the team with 30 assists.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED (OBU)

The Lions got off to a strong start, winning five of the first seven points of the match. OBU then went on a run to take the lead. The teams traded points until the midway mark, as the teams were still tied at 13-all. OBU then began to pull away, taking the first set 25-19
 
The teams battled throughout the second set, as the Lions took an early advantage before again having OBU make a run to tie the set. The Lions fell behind late, but rallied just in time to win the set 25-23, winning the final five points of the set.
 
The Lions built an early lead in the third set before OBU took several points in a row to take the lead back. After falling behind by four, the Lions then rallied to take a 12-11 lead at the halfway mark. The teams then traded points for several minutes, including a 3-0 rally for each team. With the set tied at 19, the Lions then made a push late, taking the set 25-21.
 
The Lions built an early lead in the fourth set, pushing their lead to 7-3. OBU fought back with long rally to take a 15-8 lead. The Lions stemmed the tide and began a 5-1 rally of their own to cut the OBU lead to three points. However, A&M-Commerce could not keep the momentum in their favor and fell 25-20.
 
OBU took three of the first four points of the final set before the Lions battled back. The Lions scored six points in seven serves to take a 9-6 lead. OBU battled back and tied the match at 11 late. The teams traded points for several frames, extending the set into extra points. However, OBU got the two-point rally it needed to earn the win.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Mississippi College)

- Shelley Chapron again led the team with 20 kills, hitting .600 in the match. She also ahd a team-high eight blocks.

- Nicki Gonelli (Round Rock - Stony Point) had 11 kills while Sydney Andersen and Bina Njikam each had 10 kills.

- The Lions hit .333 as a team in the match.

- Savannah Rutledge led the team with 14 digs while Riley Davidson (Commerce) added 11 digs.

- Natalie Sarbeck had 32 assists in the match, with Shelbi Sheppard (Emory - Rains) adding 18 assists.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED (Mississippi College)

The Lions started the match on a tear, scoring five of the first seven points. After the Choctaws rallied to cut the lead to one, the Lions began a 7-0 rally to take control of the set for good. The Lions led by as many as 13 in the set, taking the first set 25-13.
 
The teams traded points early in the second set, as the teams were tied at five early. MC then went on a run, pushing their lead to six points. The Lions cut the lead to as low af four points but could not rally to take the set.
 
The teams traded short rallies to begin the third set, with the score remaining close until the midway mark. The Lions went on a run to take a five-point advantage before the Choctaws responded, eventually tying the match at 23-all. The set went into extra points, with the Lions scoring three points in a row to take the set 26-24.
 
The Lions opened the fourth set on a big rally, scoring seven points in a row early to take a commanding lead. The Lions slowly continued to build their lead, running away with the final set 25-13.