Southern Arkansas volleyball took down Henderson State Thursday at the W.T. Watson Center in a dominant effort to improve their GAC record to 2-3.
First-year SAU head coach Alli O’Banion’s Muleriders gave the crowd some excitement, winning in four sets (25-13, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23). This win leaves the Reddies with a three-game losing streak, their longest of the year. The win serves as the first Mulerider victory over Henderson since a 3-2-win September 22, 2016 at home, and disturbs a 12-game matchup losing streak.
The Muleriders started off hot, leading 10-6 going into the first timeout in the opening set. They went on two 4-0 runs as well as a 5-0 run to give the Reddies no chance to take the lead, and won 25-13 in set one. Henderson took the second set 25-23 despite two more 4-0 runs and another 5-0 run effort. The Riders trailed 24-19 and won four straight to challenge the Reddies, but ultimately lost to give up their only set of the night.
The Muleriders held the Reddies under 20 points in set three, dictated by a 7-1 run after HSU tied the game at 7s, and put Henderson behind 14-8. In the fourth set, after falling behind 4-0, the Muleriders trailed until they rattled off seven straight to come back from their 23-18 deficit and win the game.
SAU’s 71 points, 58 kills, 10 aces, 51 assists, and 86 digs all outnumbered the efforts produced by HSU. The 86 digs mark a season high and their 10 service aces match their season high (9/02 vs. Rockhurst).
Sophomore Anna Crittenden led with a team-high 12 kills followed by sophomores Landry Rogers and Lauryn Moultrie who both produced nine. Junior Morgan Schuster recorded 26 assists, while junior Emily Larmeu produced 19 helpers. Junior Sakura Thomas (20), junior Mackensie Williams (18), and sophomore Alexa Heard (13) all recorded season-high digs. Isla Olivas recorded four service aces herself, including her first since their first game of the season (8/26) where she had two. Sophomore Olivas also led the Muleriders with her .350 hitting percentage and was trailed closely by Schuster with a .333%.
Southern Arkansas plays next in Alva, OK next Thursday with action starting at 7 p.m.