Southern Arkansas Volleyball notched its first win of the season and first under freshman head coach Alli O’Banion on Friday as the Muleriders used a dominating offensive effort in a forehand from Tougaloo to move into the win column.
SAU won 25-5, 25-11 and 25-16 in the first all-time meeting between the two schools.
The Muleriders (1-9) started attacking hot .520 in the first set which saw 14 kills for a single error on 25 attempts. It was much the same in the second set, as a dozen kills with just two errors in the same number of attempts resulted in a .400 attack clip.
For the game, Southern Arkansas hit .337, which is the Muleriders’ highest offense clip since an Oct. 17, 2017, home win over Central Baptist (.356); a duration of 109 games. It was the best road attack percentage since Sept. 5, 2017, also against CBC (.370); a duration of 126 games.
Southern Arkansas forced Tougaloo into 21 offensive errors as the opponent managed just 13 eliminations over three sets. The Bulldogs finished with an offense percentage of -.100.
The Bulldogs held a 5-4 lead in the first set, but the Muleriders rode an impressive 21-0 run to close the frame and then scored eight of the first ten points in the second set. SAU led by no less than three points during the second period and closed the set with an 11-1 run. An almost identical run put the Muleriders off to a 10-1 start in the final set as SAU took the win.
Sophomore Lauryn Moultrie hit .600 with 10 kills, while sophomore Landry Rogers, the top-dozen, was off a .500 attack clip. Junior Kenadee Poye followed with eight wins. Juniors Morgan Schuster and Emily Larmeu both had 16 assists. Senior Bailey Kirk accounted for a third of the team’s six service aces, while junior Sakura Thomas was the only double-digit Mulerider in the digs as she produced 15. Moultrie totaled four blocks.
The Muleriders faced undefeated Mississippi College in Friday’s last drink. SAU was unable to overcome an impressive .349 offensive effort from the Choctaws. Rogers led with seven kills, second Carlin Whaley followed with five, as did Poye. Schuster led with 11 assists, Larmeu followed with seven and second Samantha Still led with a dozen digs.
Southern Arkansas prepares for the first of its seven home games as Arkansas-Monticello opens the slate at WT Watson Center on Tuesday. UAM comes in at 5-7 on aggregate with a 1-0 mark in Great American Conference play after a reverse sweep in their opener against Ouachita. Since first meeting as GAC opponents in 2011, the series is tied at 11-11 and the Muleriders have led at home 6-4 in the series but have lost their last seven to the Blossoms. .
The first service is fixed at 6 p.m.
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