SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The fifth-ranked Southwestern University volleyball team erased a 14-9 deficit in the fifth set, rallying to score seven straight points and stunning the third-ranked Trinity Tigers on their home floor in five sets. The Pirates rolled back to defeat Texas Lutheran in four sets to complete a perfect SCAC weekend.
In the opening match against the Tigers, Southwestern hit .246 with 70 kills as a team while Trinity hit .233 with 65 kills.
"It was a true Top 5 battle that lived up to its billing," said Head Coach Don Flora. "We needed a collective effort and that gave us the ability to finish off a quality team in Trinity."
In the first set, Trinity took advantage of .022 hitting from the Pirates to win the set 25-22 and move ahead 1-0. However, Southwestern took over the next two sets, winning set two, 25-16, on .257 hitting and .410 in set three including 16 kills and no errors for a 25-17 victory in set three.
In an incredible fourth set, the two teams were back in forth towards the end of the set with Southwestern earning three match points while Trinity had three set points. Eventually, the Tigers sent their home crowd into a frenzy, taking set four 31-29 and carrying all the momentum into the fifth set.
It was all Tigers in the fifth set, racing out 5-1 lead and pushing it to 8-3 on the turnover. Trinity looked as though they were going to win their second contest over the Pirates, leading 14-9, but seven straight points including two kills each from seniors Kate Mitchell and Piper Sisemore, as well as the game-winning service ace from junior Brandi Campos gave the Pirates the amazing come-from-behind 16-14 win.
"Our offense was well balanced, which is a tribute to Megan Grimes," added Flora. "That shines through with four attackers in double digit kills."
Sophomore Brittany Hohlt led the way with 18 kills while Mitchell had 17 and junior Jamison Duck added 16. Sisemore also had 11 kills while junior Megan Grimes added 54 assists to go with 17 digs. Mitchell finished with three service aces while Sisemore and Duck each had two.
Campos led the way with 26 digs while Duck added 15. Sisemore finished with two solo blocks and four block assists while Mitchell had three block assists.
"This is the type of match that every college volleyball player wants to compete in during their career," said Flora. "We give a ton of credit to The Trinity students and fans for helping the Tigers along the way, but we were ultimately able to find a way to pull out the victory."
In the second match against Texas Lutheran, the Pirates overcame a slow start and hit .375 and .359 to dominate the Bulldogs to a four set win.
Southwestern won the first set before TLU responded with a 26-24 win in set two. The Pirates responded with two of their most dominant sets of the season, crushing a quality Bulldog team 25-10 and 25-12.
"We had a solid start in the TLU match, then, give (TLU) credit, they raised the bar and won the second set," said Flora. "Watching our collective team focus and effort while we buried them in the 3rd set and then finished them off in the 4th set was a sign of this new line-up working and our team growing each match we play."
Sisemore and Mitchell each had 13 kills while Hohlt added 12 and Duck had 11. Grimes had 46 assists and 17 digs while Mitchell and Campos had four service aces a piece.
Defensively, Campos had 18 digs while Duck had 17. Junior Jillian Jeane had 11 digs while Hohlt came away with two blocks.
Southwestern moves to 22-3 overall and 8-2 in SCAC play, moving into a tie for second in the SCAC. Southwestern will travel to Shreveport next Saturday for the second SCAC crossover, beginning with another top five matchup, this time against second-ranked Colorado College at 10:30 followed by a 5:00 PM game against Dallas.