GOODWELL–This year’s Aggie Volleyball Halloween Spiketacular gave guests not only a great time with Halloween-themed music, a costume contest and trick-or-treating, but fans were kept on the edge of their seats throughout the exciting four-set SAC shootout between Panhandle State and Wayland Baptist.
The Aggies collected a conference win, defeating the Pioneers 3-1 and secured a post in post-season play for the first time in program history. In a hard-fought first set, the Pioneers prevailed 25-23. Summer Middleton marked five kills in set two, accompanied by Kendra Butler and Lauren Hastings who each landed three kills. The Aggies posted their highest hitting percentage of the game in set two (.217) to claim a 25-23 win over Wayland. Set three shifted leads throughout with the Aggies holding game-point at 24-22. A kill by the Pioneers followed by an attack error by the Aggies tied things up at 24-24. On WBU’s serve, Quiara Pointdexter put the ball back in Aggie hands, and Courtney Adams added the final blow with a point on attack to win 26-24.
By set four Aggie fans were on their feet in anticipation, and their team did not disappoint. Panhandle State stepped up winning six straight points off the first service by Lauren Hastings. The Aggies owned the lead throughout the entire set, allowing no more than two consecutive points to the Pioneers. Pointdexter and Adams put up the final two points once again to claim a 25-16 victory in the set and improve to a 7-11 record in the Sooner Athletic Conference, their best conference standing in school history. With the win, the team holds a 9-18 overall record, which is also the best posted in recorded history.
For the game, Summer Middleton and Kendra Butler were the team’s leading scorers with 15.5 and 17.5 points respectively. Middleton totaled 15 on kills and Butler finished with 14 kills, two aces, three solo blocks and one block-assist. Setter Cailyn Berry led the game in assists with 46 and defensively, the work was spread among libero McKenna Clement with 26 digs, Ashely Sanchez and Summer Middleton with 18 digs apiece and Berry with 16 digs.
Head Coach Signe Coombs was extremely proud of her team stating, “We executed on all six cylinders. Every player did their job, executed the scout and played with a sense of urgency. This was the culmination of hard work, discipline and preparation throughout this season and into this week.” The first year head coach continued, “The coaching staff is proud of how the team performed. We are on our way to peaking at the right time but still have unfinished business. We have set new goals to finish out the regular season and heading into the conference tournament. We will celebrate this win and get back to work.” She added, “The environment in the arena was unforgettable. Our fans provided such a great atmosphere that gave our team energy and momentum throughout the match. Thank you!”
Fans can keep up with the Aggies as they compete on the road this weekend at Oklahoma City on Friday and Saturday at Southwestern Christian. Live stats and video streaming are available for each SAC match with links online at opsuaggies.com. Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. and Saturday is set for Noon. The Sooner Athletic Conference Quarterfinals take place Tuesday at locations to be designated after results from all SAC matches are in on Saturday. Fans can stay tuned to OPSU social media sites for further information.