LeTourneau Volleyball Takes Home Opener In Four Sets Over East Texas Baptist
LONGVIEW, Texas – Following a heavy dosage of traveling to start the season, the LeTourneau University volleyball team looked to return home and redeem themselves after a winless weekend. The YellowJackets came away victorious in front of their home crowd for the first time of the 2018 season with a 3-1 win over American Southwest Conference East Division rival, East Texas Baptist on Tuesday, September 25.
With the victory, the YellowJackets improve their record to 6-9 overall and 3-4 in American Southwest Conference play. The Tigers now sit at 9-9 overall and 3-4 in ASC action.
“Tonight’s win took all of our athletes being involved regardless of their role on this team,” said head coach Ashley Tiernan in a post-match interview. “We had a game plan for each rotation tonight and the biggest factor to our success was executing.” “I’m proud of the fight and passion from all of us.”
How it Happened:
Showing off for their home crowd, LETU jumped on the Tigers quickly with a quick 3-0 start to the first set.
Three attack errors by the YellowJackets led to a 4-0 run by ETBU who would see their first lead midway through the set at 12-10 and forcing a LeTourneau timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, LETU would be led by three kills from Mikayla Thomas as part of on a 7-1 run to force the Tigers to call a timeout of their own with the score favoring the YellowJackets 17-13.
LETU would continue the run with the next point out of the timeout and never take their foot off the pedal as they held their lead for the remainder of the set to take a 25-19 win.
The second set would prove to be much like the first early on as neither team would be able to build a lead of more than three points in the entire set.
Eight attack errors and three service errors by the Tigers would prove to be the difference as the YellowJackets took the second set 25-22 to go up two sets to none and look for a home-opening sweep in the third set.
A 5-1 run from the Tigers midway through the third set forced a timeout from the YellowJackets, hoping to bounce back as ETBU would look to push things to a fourth set with the score in favor of the Tigers at 17-13.
Two kills for East Texas Baptist sealed the deal as the Tigers would flip momentum heading into the fourth set with a 25-17 third-set victory.
The momentum did carry over in favor of ETBU early on as the YellowJackets would be unable to find a lead in the early stages, as both teams would refuse to give let either team go on a run.
Falling behind 17-14 midway through the set, LETU battled back with a four-point run led by kills from Kianna Crow and Torie Langston along with two attack errors by the Tigers forced an ETBU timeout with LeTourneau holding a 21-20 lead.
A kill by Crow and a pair of blocks would come in clutch for LETU as they scored the final four points of the set to earn their first win over the Tigers since October 25th of 2016.
Service aces throughout the game would come at key moments for the YellowJackets, as LETU managed to come up with six aces while the Tigers only saw two. Crow had four of the six service aces for LeTourneau.
Despite the win, ETBU managed out-blocked LETU by a total of 8-7 and held a slim 47-45 advantage in the kill department.
Crow finished the game with a double-double, recording 15 kills and 13 digs while Thomas followed with 11 kills of her own.
The YellowJackets will get back on the road once again as they travel to Shreveport, Louisiana for a 6:00 pm non-conference matchup against the Ladies of Centenary College on Friday, September 28. Centenary will enter Friday’s matchup with a 7-11 overall record following Tuesday night’s five-set loss at Louisiana College.
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