ARKADELPHIA – Southern Arkansas Volleyball suffered a straight sets defeat (23-25, 17-25, 19-25) on Tuesday night at the hands of one of the Great American Conference’s top offensive teams in the Ouachita Tigers. The Muleriders fall to 3-9 on the season and 0-2 in league play, while the Tigers improve to 11-3 and 2-0 in GAC action.
Sophomore Morgan Gross led with a team-high eight kills, while freshman Ciarra Wright added seven, with sophomore Lauren Smith producing six.
Smith’s kill total came a team-best .214 hitting percentage among teammates with at least ten attacks.
Freshman Abby Bermudez collected three block assists as did Wright, while Gross and sophomore Bailey Cagle added two. Cagle also chipped in with five kills.
Southern Arkansas’ 33 assists are the second-most in a three-set match this season behind true freshmen Lexi Kruse and Caitlin Murdock’s combined 25.
Kruse delivered four of the Muleriders’ seven service aces; the fourth time this season that SAU has recorded seven or more aces.
Tuesday night marked the third three-set match that freshman libero Camryn Bihary has logged 19 kills. Additionally, it is the third-most team digs (47) in a three-set match this season.
Murdock added six digs and junior defensive specialist Kayley Davis collected six digs as well.
Despite the three-set defeat, it did not come easy for Ouachita as the Muleriders forced the Tigers to the ropes in the opening set refusing to go away without a fight, while taking a 19-18 set advantage, before the Tigers scored six of the final ten points, including four straight after losing the aforementioned lead.
In the second frame, the largest lead for first half of the set was three, before Ouachita manufactured a 14-5 at the halfway point to pull away from SAU.
In the final set, the Muleriders managed to cut the deficit to five, but would not be able to draw any closer down the stretch.
The Lady Muleriders are home on a Thursday night for GAC showdown with Henderson State inside the W.T. Watson Center at 6 p.m.