The Southwestern University Pirates volleyball team opened up its season with a three-set victory (25-21; 25-15; 25-15) over the Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) Cowgirls on the first day of the Southwestern University Volleyball Fall Invitational.
Southwestern utilized its serve to pressure HSU, scoring 11 service aces, including four in the first set to overcome early hitting woes as both teams struggled with efficiency to open their seasons.
- Four different Pirates had at least five kills in three sets as Southwestern unleashed a balanced attack. Riley Brantley led the team with seven kills on a .227 attack percentage, followed by Lauren Crabtree, who had five kills on a .250 clip with 12 digs and four aces for a strong all-around game.
- Keying the balanced attack was the passing of first year setter Katelyn Whitehead, who led the team with 18 assists in her debut while also recording eight digs.
- Returning All-SCAC middle blocker Ashely Whitlock controlled the net with five kills on nine attacks and two errors for a .333 hitting percentage while recording one solo block and two block assists.
- In her first game as the team's new libero, Ali Grona led the team with 15 digs and recorded two assists, keying a Pirate defense that limited HSU to just .048 hitting through three sets.
- The Pirates got stronger as the game wore on, finishing with double-digit kills (11) on its highest team percentage (.200) in the third and final set.
- Alicia Becerra led the Cowgirls with eight kills on a .160 hitting percentage. Setter Ashley Pierce led the game in assists with 22.