UNA volleyball wins opening round of GSC tournament

The volleyball team defeated Christian Brothers University 3-0 in the opening round of the Gulf South Conference tournament Nov. 11.

UNA (19-11) moved on in dominating fashion by sweeping the Buccaneers for the second time this season. The Lions won the sets by a score of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-17.

“This game was very important for our team so it was important that we came out with a lot of energy,” said coach Stephanie Radecki. “To win against a good team in that fashion is exciting. Hopefully it will bring more momentum in the conference tournament.”

Freshman hitter Jessica Austin set a career high in kills with 11 to lead the Lions. Freshman libero Ashtyn Kapovich had 16 digs and junior setter Andrea De Leon paced UNA with 35 assists.

“(Austin) has came on strong late for us,” Radecki said. “We knew she was a dynamic player, but she had to develop as true freshman and she has lately.”

The Lions advance to play No. 1 seed Shorter University Nov. 15 in Rome, Georgia. UNA lost both regular season matches against the Hawks this season.

“I’m really confident in our team going against Shorter,” said senior defensive specialist Shantel Federick. “They don’t do anything that we can’t control. When we played them here it was a good game so I’m confident.”

The Lions lost the home match against the Hawks 3-1, but did not lose a set by more than four points.

The Shorter matchup could possibly be a must win for UNA if it wants to make it into the NCAA tournament, Radecki said.

The first serve is scheduled for 11 a.m.