Lions volleyball wins two out of three in first home stand

Senior hitter Megan Gorey tries to knock the ball over the net against Shorter University Sept. 11. The Lions took two out of three games this past week at home.

The Lions won two out of three games to start off a three-game conference home stand, Sept. 9-12.

UNA started conference play last week winning their home opener over Christian Brother University.

“Winning 3-0 against Christian Brothers is always huge,” said coach Stephanie Radecki. “They’re always a competitive team, and I’m proud of the way we competed tonight.”

After a tight opening set, the Lions held the Buccaneers to a negative hitting percentage in the final two frames to win by a score of 25-23, 25-10 and 25-19.

Senior hitter Megan Gorey finished the match with a game high 10 kills.

“She’s a huge threat for us offensively,” Radecki said. “Teams can always come back from 2-0 deficits, so it’s good we finish every set off we can.”

The second of the three home games came against Shorter University.

In the first set, the Lions took the early momentum closing out the Hawks 35-33.

“It’s key to stay focused on every play,” Radecki said. “You never know how long any match will play out.”

The Hawks battled back and took the following three sets by the same tally over the final three frames, 25-21.

“They’re a very good team,” Radecki said. “We didn’t finish off points as well as we needed to tonight to get the win.”

Freshman middle hitter Megan Wadsworth was a bright spot for the Lions as she finished the game with a .389 hitting percentage.

She also had seven blocks, which brings her total to 28 on the year.

“As a team we have to play better,” Wadsworth said. “I felt I played well tonight, but I’m more concerned that we come out with a win.”

Senior defensive specialist Shantel Federick was missing in action against the hawks with a back injury.

“We’d like to have all of our players healthy, any injury is a key injury for us,” Radecki said.

The Lions faced conference newcomer Mississippi College in the final game of the home stand.

UNA showed them the competition is much tougher at this level, by dismantling the Choctaws 25-11, 25-14 and 25-10.

“It was really important to bounce back tonight after losing a tough one,” Radecki said. “It was really nice to see our girls step up and stay focus.”

The Lions had an impressive .542 hitting percentage for the match as well as an outstanding performance by Gorey, who finished with nine kills and a .600 hitting percentage.

The defense was impressive as well, holding Mississippi College to a -0.13 hitting percentage.

Junior setter Andrea De Leon finished the home stand with three consecutive double-doubles, including a 29 assist 10 dig performance against the Choctaws.

The next home match for North Alabama will be Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. against UAH.