JACKSON, Miss. – A little over a week without a match did not phase Northwestern State on Tuesday in a 3-1 win against Jackson State. It was the 10th straight win against the Tigers, matching the second longest active winning streak for NSU.
“This was another good win on the road,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We played well in the first two sets and dictated what we wanted to do but Jackson State did a good job settling down, coming back from the break to be more aggressive, specifically with serving. It took us into the fourth before we were able to settle down ourselves and respond.”
The Lady Demons (4-3) used their aggressive service in sets one and two to keep the Tigers (1-7) out of system leading to multiple offensive options for NSU and a handful of attack errors for JSU. Breanna Burrell and Symone Wesley led the charge, as to be expected, on the outside combining for six kills in the opening set, while the Tigers committed seven errors, six of them unforced.
The script flipped however in the third set as the JSU serve, namely that of Alexis Williams, created missed passes on the NSU side leading to a third-set win for the Tigers to prevent the NSU sweep.
The defensive adjustment in the fourth by the Lady Demons put a stop to the JSU momentum after some precarious moments early in the set.
The Lady Demons worked their way back from an 11-3 deficit in the fourth set behind the steady hands of Jordan Gamble in the middle and Ashlyn Svoboda on the back line. Gamble provided the offense and transition scoring at the net while Svoboda provided the steady defense Demon fans have come to expect from their libero along with quality serves down the stretch to close the match.
“Symone and Ashlyn stepped up in serve receive to allow us to take advantage of our matchups at the net with one of those being Jordan Gamble,” Kiracofe said. “She was very reliable offensively whenever we got her the ball and did a great job blocking.
“It wasn’t pretty at times, but being able to find a way to win in difficult situations is what’s important and that’s what we did.”
The win was the 10th in a row against Jackson State and the 14th in a row against members of the SWAC dating back to 2014.
The Lady Demons continue their gauntlet of matches on Thursday with the Southland Conference opener at Southeastern.
PHOTO: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services