Elaine Parrigon | The Chart
A week of preparing and waiting for their home opener, the Lions finally got to host the Miners of Missouri S&T on Tuesday night this week. The Lions entered play at 0-4; the Miners entered play at 6-2.
The Lions would get off to a very slow start. They scored the first point of the first set but did not hold a lead, and once the Miners got the lead they never looked back. The Miners won the first set 25-14.
The Lions led the second set early on as well. At one point they led 8-4, but were unable to hold onto that lead either. The Miners went on a 10-3 run to take a 14-11 lead. Again, the Miners wouldn’t look back as they took the second set 25-21.
In the third set the Lions grabbed the first 5 points, and had promising looks of taking the third set early on. The last time the Lions would hold the lead was after they scored off of an Alicia Pickett and Kylee Kaaihue block, which made the score 11-9 in favor of the Lions. S&T would then go on a run and make the score 20-13. Despite a late surge by the Lions to make the score 24-21, and forcing the Miners to take a timeout, the Miners would still go on to win the third set and complete a sweep of the Lions with a 25-21 set victory.
The Lions have now been swept in four of their five games this season, only winning one set for the entire season so far. The Miners improve to 7-2 on the season, while the Lions fall to 0-5.
“We have to put the ball away, we’ve been giving our opponent way too many points. I think tonight we had over 50 errors on our side of the ball, and we aren’t going to win if we make that many errors,” said head coach Kalie Mader.
Looking ahead, the Lions are playing in a four game weekend series in Shawnee, Okla. starting today. Southern starts play at noon today against Oklahoma Baptist University. At 4 p.m., the Lions will be going up against ranked opponent Arkansas Tech. Tech defeated the Lions earlier this season, without allowing a single set win for the Lions. In the past four seasons, the Lions are 0-3 against Arkansas Tech including their loss earlier this season.
On Saturday, the Lions begin play again at noon. This time it will be against Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The Lions have only played NWOSU two times in the past four seasons going 1-1 against them. At 6 p.m., the Lions will finish the weekend series against Southern Nazarene University. Southern has only faced SNU one time in the past four seasons and they lost that match.
The Lions are 1-5 in the last four seasons, against the four teams they will be playing this weekend. Based off of recent numbers against these four teams, it looks as if the Lions may have a difficult weekend ahead of them.
“I would hope to see a win, that’s what I want to see,” said junior Alicia Pickett
Coach Mader said what she thought the team had to do in order to do that this weekend.
“We have to earn more points,” said Mader.