Volleyball has strong weekend at home

UNA’s Priscilla Massengale and Taylor Chapman block the ball from Kentucky State’s Emily Grieshaber in the Oct. 13 game, in which the Lions won three straight sets to win the match.

The UNA volleyball team had a successful weekend as it defeated Kentucky State in three sets (25-9, 25-10, 25-8) Oct. 13 and then went five sets against West Alabama Oct. 14.

In the Kentucky State game, Hope Rayburn led the Lions with 33 assists as well as 16 combined kills of Cara Gregg and De’licia Hutchins, who had eight kills each. UNA had 41 total kills as a team while Kentucky State had 10 total kills in all three sets.

The Lions fell behind two sets to zero as the UWA Tigers won the first two 17-25 and 21-25. UWA had lost seven games in a row coming into the game and was looking to change its fortune.

The Tigers appeared to be on their way to a three-set before the Lions won the third set.

“We made a couple personnel changes through the match because I felt the players weren’t prepared to play early,” said head volleyball coach Stephanie Radecki. “That forced them to work harder, and, when you work hard, you get better results.”

UNA went on an 8-1 run to win the third set 25-23.

“I think De’licia Hutchins came off the bench to spark the team in the third set, ” Radecki said.

Hutchins came in at the beginning of the third set and had four kills for the Lions off the bench.

The fans in Flowers Hall began to get excited as the Lions won the fourth set 25-11 to tie the game at two sets apiece.

The Tigers were leading 10-7 in the short 15-point fifth set but another 8-1 rally by the Lions completed the comeback as UNA defeated UWA 3-2.

Rayburn sat out the second set of the match after struggling in the first.

The Lions have now won four games in a row after starting the season 3-10. Radecki contributes the success to a change in team mentality.

“The team has made some changes,” Radecki said. “They are more focused, and we have been able to settle into a true starting lineup.”

Radecki also said the team has the talent to win.

“We have a strong team and need every player to be ready and understand their role,” Radecki said.

In the game against West Alabama, a couple long runs by the Lions kept them in the game. Radecki said the team needs to be more consistent.

“We need to continue to work on consistency and drive,” she said. “The talent is never a question, but we have to be ready to play any opponent we face regardless of who (they are).”  

The Lions will look to be consistent in their last 11 games of the season and improve on their 7-10 record.

The Lions will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and play three games in two days in the Nova Southeastern Regional Crossover Oct. 19 and 20.