SFA volleyball wins 4th-stright SLC regular season title

SFA volleyball wins 4th-stright SLC regular season title
SFA Volleyball (Source: SFA Athletics)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (SFA Athletics) - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks had quite the accolade on the line entering today’s matchup with the Houston Baptist Huskies, an outright Southland Conference regular season title. The Ladyjacks clinched a share of the regular season title with a win at Sam Houston last week, but today’s 3-1 (25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23) triumph against the Huskies made SFA the only team to reach 11 wins in conference play.

SFA secured the No. 1 seed in the tournament, earning a double-bye and automatic advancement to the semifinals. The Ladyjacks will take on the winner of Texas A&M Corpus Christi/Winner of Match 2 (No. 5 HBU/No. 8 UIW) on Friday, April 2nd at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

Today’s Leaders

Kills: Payton Cerny (16), Kennedy Wright (10), Leah Powell (8)

Aces: Ariana Pagan (3), Maddy Bourque (1), Allie Hamsher (1)

Blocks: Taya Mitchell (6), Leah Powell (3), Ashley Procious (3)

Assists: Maddy Bourque (29), Allie Hamsher (10), Malgorzata Andersohn (7)

Digs: Madelynn Miller (31), Kennedy Wright (13), Ariana Pagan (9)

Pilgrim’s Player of the Game

Madelynn Miller

(31 digs, three assists)

Hitting Percentage Comparison

SFA: .219 (53-155)

HBU: .146 (51-164)

How It Happened

SFA jumped out to a hot 7-0 start in Set 1, only allowing five HBU kills over the net on 29 attempts (-.103) in the entire set. The ‘Jacks created a comfortable cushion for themselves during the opening set, with Payton Cerny leading the way with five kills, and three Ladyjacks compiling two thus far (Wright, Mitchell, Procious) for a 25-11 SFA victory.

Set 2 was a bit of a change of pace, as the second set consisted of four lead changes and 11 ties for a nail-biter. HBU squared away two more kills than SFA in this set, but the Ladyjacks comprised consistency in situational moments, hitting .278 to HBU’s .186. A clutch service ace from Pagan was critical in this one to tie it at 22-22 all, followed by Cerny’s kill to take a 23-22 lead. SFA capitalized on a HBU attack error for point No. 24, and Wright topped off the set with another kill.

The Ladyjacks settled into an early 9-5 lead in the third set, shifted by the Huskies who scored nine straight points in the heart of the set to take a 22-21 advantage. Coco Gillett responded with a kill to tie it up at 22-22, but the Huskies claimed the third set to force a fourth.