Lions sweep West Alabama to open conference play

UNA volleyball players celebrate a momentum-building point against West Alabama Sept. 13 in Flowers Hall. The Lions opened Gulf South Conference play with a victory, improving to 9-0 overall.

The UNA volleyball team improved to a 9-0 record after sweeping West Alabama to open conference play Tuesday in Flowers Hall.

The Lions took the first two sets convincingly (25-14, 25-15), but narrowly won the third, finishing off the Tigers 25-23. West Alabama held a 23-20 lead before the Lions ended the game with a 5-0 run.

“West Alabama made it really close, but I’m really glad our girls finished and were successful in that third set,” said UNA head coach Stephanie Radecki. “It was nice that when they were in system, we were able to defend. They have some really explosive hitters.”

Since 2014, UNA has defeated West Alabama in 15 straight sets.

Gulf South Conference Player of the Week Jayden Davila-McClary led the Lions’ offensive attack. The sophomore setter had 35 assists and 10 digs to record her sixth double-double of the year.

“It has been really fun to watch her,” Radecki said. “It is really only her first season as a college setter. Sometimes I think people need to be reminded she is so young because of how fast she runs the offense.”

Junior hitter Lexie Bradley and senior hitter Natasha Fomina led the team in points with 15 and 12.5, respectively, to give the Lions two players in double-digit scoring.

Senior Peyton Lang bolstered the defense with six kills and seven digs.

“I thought we played pretty well,” Lang said. “We struggled a little bit in the third game, but we came back, and we got a good win in our first home (conference) game.”

UNA continues conference play Sept. 16 when the team travels to play the Shorter Hawks. The Lions continue a two-game road trip immediately following, as they face Lee in Cleveland, Tennessee, Sept. 17.