SEGUIN, Texas — A few days after being named to the SCAC All-Conference teams, Lauren Crabtree and Riley Brantley led the Southwestern University Pirates volleyball team past Texas Lutheran in three sets (25-22, 25-23, 26-24) to advance to the second round of the SCAC Tournament.
Crabtree and Brantley combined for 21 of the Pirates' 39 kills and the Pirate defense limited Texas Lutheran to a .045 hitting percentage to avenge the Pirates' four-set loss in Seguin on Oct. 10.
"This was an important growth step for this 2019 team. We made a huge step being able to compete in crunch time and put together a solid 3-0 win," Head Coach Don Flora said. "Lauren and Riley gave us good swings in crunch time and Elle was tremendous in serve receive and attacking. Ali Grona battled defensively as well as she has all season."
The Pirates jumped out to an early 10-2 lead in the first set, taking advantage of six Texas Lutheran attack errors during that stretch. The Bulldogs stormed back to within two at 23-21 but committed a pair of attack errors to give Southwestern the set.
Southwestern and Texas Lutheran went back and fourth in the second set, deadlocked at 22-22 when Elleanna McGown and Brantley scored back-to-back kills and a TLU attack error clinched the set.
Brantley took over in the third and final set, recording six of her match-high 11 kills, spurring a Pirate comeback from down 21-17 with four consecutive Southwestern kills and, eventually, the clincher to defeat TLU.
The first year middle blocker was efficient with a team-high .391 hitting percentage and six block assists, totaling a match-high 14 points. Crabtree recorded another triple-double, posting 10 kills on a .250 clip with 14 assists and 17 digs.
Libero Ali Grona led the Pirates with 23 digs and also contributed three assists. Emma White had nine kills, 12 digs, and two service aces. Kacie Hall led the Bulldogs with 10 kills on a .133 hitting percentage.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 22-13 on the season. Southwestern will advance to play Colorado College, the No. 8-ranked team in Division III, in the SCAC Semifinals tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.