Abilene (November 2, 2012) -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor volleyball team gave the defending conference champion a battle but the Cru’s comeback fell short in a 3-1 loss in the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Friday evening in Abilene. The loss drops UMHB into an elimination match on Saturday. The Cowgirls advance to Saturday afternoon’s Championship Match with the victory.
The Cru fell 25-17, 16-25, 25-22, 25-19 to drop to 22-7 on the season. HSU improves to 28-3 on the year and has won 48 consecutive home matches dating back to the 2006 season. Three of UMHB’s seven losses on the year have come to the Cowgirls.
HSU opened the first set with a 7-1 run and would eventually build a 20-9 lead. The Cru would get as close as 22-17 before the Cowgirls closed it out by winning the last three points. UMHB opened the second set with its own 7-2 run before HSU cut it to 9-6. The Cru pulled away again, leading as much as 21-11 before coasting to a second set win. The third set was tied at 15 before the Cowgirls scored six of seven to grab a 21-16 lead. UMHB would cut it to two twice in the late going, but a Christine Sas kill closed out the set and gave HSU a 2-1 lead. Hardin-Simmons scored the first seven points of the fourth set before UMHB stormed back to cut the lead to 15-14. The Cowgirls won the next three points and five of the next six to provide some breathing room and hold off the Cru comeback attempt.
Lauren Powell and Tina Miller led UMHB with 12 kills apiece and Reid added 11 kills and 10 digs. Shelby Prather had 35 assists and Kendra Feldmann led the Cru with 18 digs. UMHB hit .144 as a team and committed 26 attack errors. The Cru did post 8.0 team blocks and six service aces.
Madison Reyes had a match-high 15 kills to lead the Cowgirls and Sas chipped in 13 more. Molli Owen posted 28 assists and Addison Zaya led HSU with 16 digs. Hardin-Simmons hit .207 as a team and matched UMHB with 8.0 team blocks and six service aces.
UMHB will return to action with an elimination match at noon on Saturday against the winner of Friday night’s match between U.T.-Dallas and East Texas Baptist. Saturday’s winner advances to take on HSU in the Championship Match at 3:00 PM, needing to beat the Cowgirls twice to claim the title. The ASC Tournament Champion also claims the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.