Lions volleyball team blank West Alabama

Sophomore Jessica Austin spikes the ball for the UNA Lions. The Volleyball team defeated in-state conference rival West Alabama 3-0.

The UNA volleyball team defeated the West Alabama Tigers 3-0 Tuesday night at home to improve to 15-4 overall and 9-2 in the Gulf South Conference.

The Lions easily handled the Tigers in the first two sets, winning both 25-13.

The third set was a different story.

West Alabama jumped out to a 15-10 lead, forcing UNA to fight to survive the set.

“I think West Alabama picked up their offense in the third set,” said head coach Stephanie Radecki. “We had a lot of hitting errors and a lot of serving errors in the third set. The combination of those two things is never a good thing.”

A crucial kill by sophomore middle hitter Jessica Austin put the Lions up 22-21, their first lead since falling behind 6-5 to start the third set.

UNA finished off the Tigers with a 3-1 run to complete the sweep.

“At the end (of the match) we picked it back up, and we knew we had to push through it,” said junior outside hitter Peyton Lang. “We’ve all been working hard and I think that helped us get through this tonight.”

Lang led the team with 16 digs and three service aces. The junior also finished with five kills and a team high .455 hitting percentage.

The win was a big one for a Lions team coming off a 3-0 loss to West Florida Oct. 10. The win gives UNA confidence heading into the upcoming GSC/SSC Crossover.

“Hopefully this (win) helps because (the team) has been playing well all year,” Radecki said. “We should feel confident heading into this tournament because of the numbers we’ve put up. It’s important to us.”

The Lions start the crossover with a match against Nova Southeastern Oct. 16 in Carrollton, Georgia.