The hot start to the Northwestern State volleyball season continued on Tuesday night.
The Lady Demons had little trouble in the first two sets at Jackson State, taking them 25-15 and 25-18. The third, however, was a far different story as NSU battled off a set point and a raucous crowd to complete the sweep with a 31-29 final frame.
“This was a good match for us in a number of ways,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “Jackson State had a great crowd that was into the game and created a great environment. In sets one and two we were able to see some people in different positions and gain some experience.
“But it was set three that put us in the best learning situations. Jackson State stepped up and found ways to score and the crowd really pushed them on.”
The Lady Demons had solid control over the match from the outset. They used multiple 3-0 and 4-0 runs to put early distance between them and the Tigers to cruise to a 2-0 match lead.
The third was by far the most entertaining and competitive set of the night. Things seemed to be heading the same direction as the first two sets with NSU leading 13-9. A Jackson State run of 6-2 tied the match at 15 and began the string of back and forth play that continued until the end.
The Tigers had the momentum and set point at 24-23 hoping to take a set from the Lady Demons. With their backs against the wall, seniors Alexis Warren and Megan Lohmiller came in clutch with back-to-back points. Warren’s devastating kill and Lohmiller’s perfectly placed service ace swung the set on a dime and gave the Lady Demons match point.
The Tigers would not go quietly as they held off multiple match points behind a loud and engaged home crowd, fueling their efforts on the floor. NSU would finally get the consecutive points they needed to complete the sweep as Warren flew in from the side to hammer the winning point to the floor.
“It was as close as you can get to an intense conference match feeling,” Kiracofe said “Just like last weekend I was really proud of how we hung in there through good plays and a few bad decisions to find a way to win.”
Reigning Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week Hannah Brister extended her streak of matches of double-digit kills with 17. Warren added 12 kills on just 15 swings for a .600 hitting percentage. With their second straight sweep, the Lady Demons have now won eight straight sets going back to the win versus Montana State.
The Lady Demons travel to Mobile, Alabama on Friday to play in the Jaguar Invitational hosted by South Alabama. Stay connected to Northwestern State volleyball by following @NSUDemonsVB on Twitter and Instagram or liking Northwestern State volleyball on Facebook.