BEAUMONT, Texas – Following an exciting come-from-behind victory on the road, Northwestern State takes a familiar trip to a former Southland location hoping to continue its growth.
The penultimate tournament weekend takes the Lady Demons to Beaumont for three matches against Little Rock, UAPB and Lamar. The first weekend of the season featured three teams NSU has faced at least one time before in program history.
NSU’s weekend begins with a pair of matches on Friday starting at 10 a.m. against Little Rock then again that afternoon at 4 p.m. against UAPB. The Lady Demons close the tournament with the host Lamar on Saturday afternoon. Links for live stats and video of the matches is available at nsudemons.com.
It took two full sets for the Lady Demons to fully settle into the match against Grambling on Wednesday night. By that time, they found themselves with their backs against the wall down two sets to none, facing the potential of a disappointing road sweep.
After a total of 18 attack errors in the first two sets, NSU found some of the offensive consistency it has been and continues to try and build over the final three sets. The insertion of freshman setter Piper Boydstun created a noticeable change in the offensive production as the attack percentage skyrocketed by more than 200 points in the third and fourth sets.
“In the third we did a better job getting the ball to the net so we could run the offense we wanted,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said following Wednesday’s match. “Addison (McDermott) coming in did a good job help stabilizing up in serve receive and defense. That allowed us to settle down and get back on track.”
Boydstun had 30 assists in the three sets the Lady Demons won to reverse sweep Grambling and helped three attackers – Breanna Burrell (15), Symone Wesley (14) and Kate Idrogo (12) – reach double figures in kills on the night.
NSU at times showed the talent they possess on their side of the floor to take points and extend plays. Moving into a weekend against teams with much more similar makeups it still boils down to consistency and communication to produce more growth for the team.
“There are going to be matches that we’ll be able to win on physical talent,” Kiracofe said. “But we need to start all being on the same page, so it looks the way we want it to on a consistent basis.
“When we play tough teams that are not SEC, 6-foot-3 big teams, but good teams, we know what we can rely on and what’s going to work. That ability to be repetitive and attack people in a certain way because we know that if it doesn’t work the first time, or we have an unforced error, it’s going to work the next three or four times. You just have to keep hammering away at it.”
Little Rock began the season 3-0, including a five-set win at Arkansas, but lost all three matches at the Central Arkansas Invitational a week ago. UAPB is still winless on the season, which includes their first match against Little Rock this season in Fayetteville, and Lamar’s two wins in seven total tries both came against Prairie View A&M, a pair of sweeps in each of the first two weekends.
Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services
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