Saturday’s match was much more like what we’ve come to expect from Northwestern State volleyball this season, in perhaps their best all around performance.
The Lady Demons displayed its most balance offensive attack along with a stout defensive effort in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) sweep of Brown in the Georgia State Invitational.
“It was a very complete game and a perfect time to have it as we go into conference next week,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “It was a slow start in the first but everyone stayed patient as we figured out some changes we wanted to make. After each time out everyone did a nice job of implementing things we talked about, and it paid off with a spread offense and quality defense.”
NSU had five players record six or more kills in the match, led by Hannah Brister (14) and Alexis Warren (11). Birthday girl, Skylar Besch had her most productive match of the season with seven kills, adding 14 assists along the way. Kourtney Seaton turned in seven kills as well with three block assist defensively.
Brown had early control in the first set, holding a lead up until the 17-13 mark. A 4-0 run by the Lady Demons, with a kill and block assist from Seaton, tied the set at 17. The initial push turned into a 7-1 swing that put NSU up and all the momentum on its side. Kills from Besh, Brister, and Reagan Lee gave NSU the first with a 25-22 final.
The late comeback and confidence that came with it carried over the rest of the way for the Lady Demons.
Another 4-0 run with a pair of kills from Brister, an ace from Cayman Sutton, and another kill from Lee put the Lady Demons up 13-6 in the second. Brown got only as close as four the rest of the set and Seaton sealed things with a 25-19 winner.
NSU took control of the third set with a 10-3 run that put the Lady Demons ahead 18-13 on another kill from Seaton. The lead was enough to hold off a late 4-1 push by the Bears, with back-to-back kills from Warren and Darria Williams to secure the sweep.
“Skylar stepped up today and had a great match on her birthday,” Kiracofe said. “Cayman also ran a great offense with some very good decisions in difficult situations. Darria was both smart when she needed to be and aggressive when it was available. We had a lot of good performances today.”
The Lady Demons carry their performance into next Thursday’s Southland Conference opener with Sam Houston State at Prather Coliseum.
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Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services