NSU Volleyball: Balanced offense, stiff defense leads NSU to 3-0 win

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – When the Northwestern State volleyball team’s offense is as dynamic as it was Saturday, the Lady Demons are tough competition for any team.

Northwestern State cruised to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-17) win against Little Rock in its final match of the Arkansas Invitational. Four different players had at least seven kills in the match, with Hannah Brister and Alexis Warren each having 10-kill matches for the second time in a row.

“I was really happy with how we played today,” head coach SeanKiracofe said. “Little Rock is a talented team that will continue to get better as the year goes on. We had good moments versus Arkansas and played well when it mattered against Montana State. But I was happy to see us come out and set a standard offensively and defensively which we maintained throughout the match.

“The matches like Montana State are the kind everyone remembers, and it’s justifiable why, but the consistency is what is going to set us up for being productive during the season.”

Following Friday’s dramatic, five-set comeback win over MSU, the Lady Demons (2-1) saw little issue in dispatching Little Rock on Saturday.

The first set went back and forth until the Lady Demons took control with a 5-0 run, thanks to some help from four Little Rock errors. Kills from Brister and Warren minutes later solidified NSU’s control on the set and a 1-0 match lead.

The offense really found its stride in the second, with a pair of 4-0 runs early, en route to a match-best .400 hitting percentage. A 5-1 stretch late in the frame, highlighted by kills from Warren and Kourtney Seaton, propelled NSU to the 25-17 win.

NSU scored the first five points of the third set and didn’t look back from there. A kill from Reagan Lee, an ace fromBrister, and a block by Warren and Lee late in the set put an exclamation point on the win, showcasing the complete effort of offense and defense.

The Lady Demons finished the weekend with their best record in a season-opening tournament since going 2-1 at the North Texas Invitational to start the 2014 season.

“I got exactly what I wanted out of this tournament,”Kiracofe said. “Of course I would have liked to have taken a set from Arkansas to see if we could have made it interesting, but we accomplished everything we needed to on an opening weekend.”

Brister was named to the all-tournament team with 59 kills and 35 digs in three matches across the weekend. Her 24-kill match in the win over Montana State set a new career best for the junior.

Northwestern State travels to Jackson, Mississippi, on Tuesday night for a midweek tilt at Jackson State. Stay connected to NSU volleyball by following @NSUDemonsVB on Twitter and Instagram or liking Northwestern State volleyball on Facebook.