SHERMAN, Texas — After a few educational losses spent going shot-for-shot with nationally ranked teams, the Southwestern University Pirates volleyball team is starting to put those lessons into action, winning its fifth consecutive conference match by defeating Austin College in three sets.
Buoyed by the development of its young front row, Southwestern has lost only one set over the course of its five-match winning streak.
On the road against Austin College, Haven Cathey led the team with 13 kills on 23 attacks with only two errors for a .478 hitting percentage and Ashley Whitlock continued her stellar play with nine kills on 16 attacks and only one error for a .500 hitting percentage. Both worked to control the match at the net.
"Haven and Ashley carried a tremendous load offensively and blocking today," Head Coach Don Flora said. "We are stoked about their development. And Makenzie did a solid job in her decision-making, getting the ball to the correct hitters in good situations."
The Pirates hit .263 as a team, totaling 43 kills to Austin College's 28. Mendez had 34 assists and senior Jamison Duck continued to show her well-rounded game, leading the team in digs with a 10-kill, 15-dig double-double.
Once again, the front and back rows appeared to execute in tandem, coordinated by libero Brandi Campos, stifling the Austin College attack by holding them to a .105 hitting percentage.
"This SCAC tri-match was a valuable step forward for this 2018 team. Holding Centenary and Austin College to .143 and .105 hitting percentages is a quality sign of the team understanding the demands of the match game plan," Flora said. "Brandi and the entire defensive crew did a better job being the block in both matches today.
"We have a lot of work to do but we are beginning to see our daily practice habits transfer into our match day competitions."
With the win. the Pirates improve to 14-10 on the season and 10-3 in conference play, sitting comfortably in third in the conference standings.
Southwestern will close out its regular season on the road in Shreveport, Louisiana next weekend with matches against Schneider and Texas Lutheran on Oct. 27 and Trinity on Oct. 28.