Volleyball drops first home game of season

Sophomore defensive specialist Ava Carnley digs an opposing kill in UNA’s rematch versus West Florida Nov. 11 in Florence. After being swept at West Florida earlier in the season, the Lions fell once again 3-1 in the team’s first home loss of the season

In a matchup of two of the top teams in the Gulf South Conference, the North Alabama volleyball team fell to visiting West Florida Friday night 3-1.

The Lions’ (25-5, 15-4 GSC) loss to the Argonauts (23-8, 16-3 GSC) is the second of the season after dropping their Oct. 8 matchup in a sweep. The loss also marks the first home loss for UNA during the 2016 season.

“I think West Florida played extremely well,” said UNA head coach Stephanie Radecki. “We rallied at times, but we didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”

The loss drops UNA out of a three-way tie for conference supremacy with West Florida and Shorter, and puts the Lions in second place.

The Lions had more attacks than the Argonauts (161-156), but could not convert as many kills. West Florida had 65 kills to UNA’s 58.

Senior outside hitter Natasha Fomina led the team with 14 kills on 39 attacks. Senior hitter Peyton Lang was not too far behind with 13 kills on 40 attacks. Junior hitters Jessica Austin and Lexie Bradley added 12 kills each.

Sophomore setter Jayden Davila-McClary had 53 assists on the night and added seven digs.

Defensively, the Lions had 60 total digs and five total blocks during the match. Junior libero Ashtyn Kapovich led UNA in digs with 19.

“We came out like we wanted to tonight,” Kapovich said. “It’s just that we freaked out a little bit. We went down fighting, but not fighting hard enough.”

UNA hosts Valdosta State with heavy GSC implications Nov. 12 in each teams’ regular season finale.