NACOGDOCHES, Texas (SFA Athletics) - The energy and tenacity in Shelton Gym was present for both teams Friday night, but the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks pulled through in four sets to defeat the Tarleton State Texans to open up the Spring 2021 season.
The home team took Set 1 (25-18), Set 3 (25-8) and Set 4 (25-15), only coming up short in Set 2 (25-8) to the Texans.
Payton Cerny finished with 14 kills complemented by a hitting percentage of .407, along with Ielan Bradley’s 13 kills on .478 hitting, where both players were key in sparking the Ladyjack offense. Four other Ladyjacks notched at least six kills as well. Defensively, Madylynn Miller led the way in digs (21), followed by Ariana Pagan, Bryli Contreras and Allie Hamsher tallying nine each, respectively. Allie Hamsher and Maddy Borque combined for 48 assists on the night.
SET 1 | The Ladyjacks and Texans battled early on, dominated by kills from Cerny and Bradley giving SFA a three-point lead, 11-8, which forced a Tarleton timeout. As both teams rallied, the Ladyjacks were eventually in game point territory, 24-15, but Tarleton gathered three points to force an SFA timeout. Cerny was able to put the game away with a kill coming out of the timeout. SFA wins it, 25-18.
SET 2 | Tarleton took an early 10-7 lead and were able to keep the momentum as the Texans won the set 25-15. Tarleton’s .517 hitting percentage to SFA’s .028 was the difference maker in the set, with SFA only recording eight kills to the Texan’s 16. SET 3 | Bradley turned the next set around contributing three kills to make it 4-1 SFA right away, and the Ladyjacks were able to jump out to a 15-5 lead before a Tarleton timeout. There were zero errors committed by SFA in this set, with 19 of its 25 points resulting in kills. Bradley clinched five kills in this set, and Leah Powell had four.