Kiracofe becomes NSU wins leader in thriller at McNeese

LAKE CHARLES – Another roller coaster match for Northwestern State ended with historic implications as the Lady Demons pulled out a 3-2 (26-28, 25-19, 10-25, 28-26, 20-18) win at McNeese on Saturday afternoon.

After an injury at the end of the second set forced a formation change, the Lady Demons (9-5, 2-1) responded to pull out consecutive, hard-fought set wins to give Sean Kiracofe the most wins in NSU volleyball history.

“What a match and where to being to talk about what everyone did to make it happen,” Kiracofe said. “Addison (McDermott) stepped up to play setter so we could get into a situational 6-2. Not enough can be said about her performance. But then again where do you start with everyone else because they all stepped up their game in huge ways.”

NSU carried their offensive rhythm from Thursday’s win at Lamar into Saturday, hitting .245 in the opening set with 18 kills. McNeese was just slightly better in the first with a .269 percentage to take the 28-26 win.

The Lady Demons kept rolling into the second using an 8-1 run to erase an early deficit and even the match at one set a piece.

The moment that defined the rest of the match happened with the Demons holding set point at 24-19. Setter Piper Boydstun suffered an injury that forced NSU to change their offensive approach for the rest of the match.

A dramatic block from Jordan Gamble and McDermott after a long rally served as the precursor to what the Lady Demons would do in the final two sets.

NSU needed the third to adjust to the offense, falling 25-10 to the Cowgirls, but once the adjustment came, the match was back on in full force.

Breanna Burrell and Reagahn Thompson helped forced extra points in the fourth with a 3-0 run, and Symone Wesley and Jordan Gamble combined for three straight kills down 26-25, to force the final fifth set.

The never-say-die Demons, led by Wesley and Reaghan Thompson, relied on the experience from the many tense matches already this season to win another one.

Wesley and Thompson combined for 14 kills in the final two sets, with just two errors, none in the fifth, got blocks from Jordan Gamble, Thompson and the eventual game winner from Perry Flannigan.

“Symone was everywhere, Reaghan did everything and played a pseudo right side when needed, Brea was unstoppable, Jordan played great on both sides of the ball, Amina (Attra) ran a great offense in 5-1, Perry made a big impact and the net, Ashlyn (Svoboda) was solid in serve receive when we needed it most, and Laura (Weatherford) was playing great defense,” Kiracofe said. “Everyone deserves a lengthier explanation of how they contributed but ultimately it comes down to them going out there in a tough situation and fighting together.”

Wesley had her eighth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 31 digs, Burrell and Thompson each had 14 kills and Weatherford ended with 21 digs.

The win is the fourth in a row for the Lady Demons who continue their three-match road swing at UIW on Monday.

Photo: Gary Hardamon