ALVA–The SWOSU Volleyball team clinched the second 20-win season in program history with a 3-1 victory over rival Northwestern Oklahoma State on Thursday evening in the final match of the 2018 regular season.
The first two sets were very tightly contested, with SWOSU pulling away towards the end of both by scores of 25-23 and 25-22. Northwestern kept the Bulldogs off balance in the third set, forcing SWOSU into eight hitting errors which allowed the Rangers to get on the board with a 25-19 set win. SWOSU fell behind in the fourth set, but pulled ahead at 10-9 and never trailed again, finishing it off at 25-18 following kills by Danusia Sipa Borgeaud and Jenny Tackett.
SWOSU won the match despite having a deficit in both kills (56-to-60) and hitting percentage (.203-to-.209). The Bulldogs were led by Borgeaud, who had a double-double of 14 kills and 16 digs, while Emily Holm added 13 kills and Tackett put away 12. Northwestern managed to limit SWOSU’s middle hitters, holding Sofia Gruden and Elizabeth McVicker to a combined 12 kills with seven attack errors.
Allie Hoang directed the offense with 41 assists and added 11 digs, three service aces and three kills. Kaitlyn Dillon paced the Bulldogs defense with a match-high 32 digs, while Klemson Lancaster had 14 digs. SWOSU had an advantage of 9.0-to-7.0 in blocks, getting two apiece from Gruden, McVicker and Tackett.
With the victory, SWOSU closes out the regular season with a record of 20-6 and tied for second place in the Great American Conference standings at 13-3. The Bulldogs own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Henderson State, which earns SWOSU the No. 2 seed in the upcoming GAC Tournament and a matchup with Southern Nazarene in the quarterfinals of the tournament. That match is set for 2:30 pm on Thursday at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Arkansas.