Squirrel goes wild as Lions defeat Bucs

UNA junior Sarah Ann Tillery serves the ball to the Christian Brothers Buccanners Friday night. The Lions volleyball team defeated the Bucs 3-0, despite squirrel interference.

The UNA volleyball team picked up its 20th win of the season Friday night, downing the Christian Brothers Buccaneers 3-0 to improve to 13-2 in the Gulf South Conference.

Although the Lions won in straight sets, the highlight of the match came in the third set when a squirrel scampered on the court, stopping play momentarily.

Although the squirrel tried to stop the flow of the game, the players remained locked in to finish off the Bucs, said head coach Stephanie Radecki.

“I guess we didn’t tell (the squirrel) that we were having a match tonight,” Radecki said. “I think both teams did a good job of focusing after that and finishing the match.”

Twelve kills from sophomore middle hitter Jessica Austin and 28 assists from senior setter Andrea De Leon led the Lions to a 25-21, 25-14 and 25-8 victory.

UNA jumped out to a 19-10 lead in the first set, but after a timeout the Bucs began to cause the Lions some trouble.

“It was great that we got a fast lead,” Radecki said. “The tempo (Christian Brothers) likes to run and how fast they bring the ball back can really throw a team off. That allowed them to creep back a little bit (in the first set).”

After the Lions went up 24-16, the Bucs scored five consecutive points to get within three. However, a kill by Austin off an assist by De Leon sealed the set for UNA.

“The girls did a great job finishing and taking care of what they needed to,” Radecki said.

Despite fighting back and forth for some marathon points during the second and third sets, UNA was able to dispatch the Bucs easily to finish off its 14th sweep of the season.

“(Offensively) we could see their blockers and saw where the holes were,” said sophomore outside hitter Lexie Bradley, who finished with seven kills. “We could see the whole court. That really helps the team out.”

UNA looks to take some momentum from this match into another home GSC game against Union Oct. 31.

“We’re very confident,” Bradley said. “We beat Union 3-0 at their place, and (the match) will be one of our last few home games. We’re trying to make every second count.”

The win tonight marks the 10th 20-win season for UNA volleyball under Radecki.