A roundup of college athletics from around Arkansas.
GAC picks Mora, Ebert as top runners for Week 3
RUSSELLVILLE — The Great American Conference announced the league’s Runners of the Week for the third week of the cross county season. Southern Nazarene’s Christopher Ebert (Del City, Okla.) took home the Men’s honor while East Central’s Anna Mora (El Paso, Texas) claimed the Women’s award. One week after claiming the individual title at the SWOSU Open, Ebert turned in an 11th-place finish, out of more than 200 runners, at the Missouri Southern Stampede. His 8K time of 25:19.89 bested the 30 other runners from GAC institutions. As a team, the Crimson Storm finished in 15th. Mora came within one second of matching her personal 5K record as she turned in a time of 18:01.99 at the Missouri Southern Stampede. She improved shaved almost 25 seconds off of her time at the same meet last year. She helped the Tigers place fifth, out of 21 teams. She finished in 10th, seventh amongst collegiate runners.
Central Arkansas wins first league contest
THIBODAUX, Louis. – The Central Arkansas Sugar Bears hit the road for the first league-wide night of conference play in the Southland Conference, heading to Thibodaux, Louis., to battle the Nicholls Colonels (4-12, 0-1 SLC). Central Arkansas continued its recent trend of starting strong, hitting .355 in the first set on the way to a 3-1 victory. On the night, Armstrong set a new season-high with 48 assists to marshal a Central Arkansas (7-7, 1-1 SLC) attack that got double-digit kills from three different players. Haley Tippett lead the way with her sixth double-double of the season, gathering a match-high 18 kills and adding 17 digs, while Megan Nash hit .414 on her way to 15 kills and a match-high eight blocks. Samantha Anderson rounded out the trio, tallying 14 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Amanda Dimon dug a match-high 23 attacks, while freshman Rayna Jefferis collected 13 digs.
Henderson State rally comes up short
MAGNOLIA — Henderson State’s rally fell short as the Reddies volleyball team lost 3-2 to Southern Arkansas, Thursday. Henderson, 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the GAC, dropped the first two sets losing 25-21 and 25-21, before rallying to win the nest two sets 25-17 and 26-24. In the third set, Henderson broke a 9-9 tie scoring five straight points with the help of a pair of kills by Jessie Jacoby and the serving of Courtney Bolf. The Reddies would then cruise the rest of the way to win the set. Henderson would fall behind 14-9 in set four before the Reddies rallied again to win eight of the next 10 points to take a 17-16 advantage. Gigi Garramone served six straight points and got some help with a pair of blocks by Sharron Tukuaoga and Gabby Ginapp. The Reddies forced a fifth set as Tukuaoga recorded her fourth kill of the set while SAU committed an attack error. In the decisive set, Henderson jumped out to a 6-1 lead behind the attacking play of Tukuaoga and Bolf. However, SAU would storm back and eventually tie the score at 10-10 before Jacoby ended the Mulerider run with a spike to make the score 11-10.
Ouachita pushes Tech to four sets
RUSSELLVILLE — Ouachita suffered their first conference loss of the year at the hands of the Golden Suns of Arkansas Tech in Russellville. The Tigers fell 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 19-25) and go to 10-3 overall and 2-1 in Great American Conference play. Katie Camp led Ouachita with 12 kills and a .407 attack percentage. Four Tigers posted double digits in digs, led by Ashley Wake’s 20. Trailing 1-0 after the first set, Ouachita hit a match-high .375 percent in the second set, notching 14 kills while committing only two attack errors. After falling behind 5-1, the Tigers battled their way back to make it a one-point game, trailing 7-6. Kori Bullard’s kill gave the Tigers their first lead in the set, 17-16. Two kills by Jayme Shell and Tabatha Huckabee gave the Tigers a 25-22 win. Despite cutting an 11-point Tech lead to three in set three, Ouachita could not close the gap to complete the comeback. A late rally in the fourth set came up short leading the Tigers first conference loss of the year. Stormi Leonard posted her seventh double-double of the year with 43 assists and 13 digs. Jayme Shell and Nikki Clay finished with 14 and 13 digs respectively.
Harding tops UAM in three sets
MONTICELLO — The University of Arkansas at Monticello was taken down Thursday evening by Great American Conference foe Harding University in a three-set loss at home. Final game scores from the match-up were 25-14, 25-23, and 25-23. The Blossoms (2-11, 0-3 GAC) after dropping set number one to the Bisons (10-3, 2-1 GAC), started set two on a 6-1 run to hold the early advantage. UAM held a 23-21 lead near the end of the set, but Harding finished the second set on a 4-0 run to claim it and hold a 2-0 lead heading into the third set. The final set was closely contested once again, with Arkansas-Monticello holding various leads throughout it. HU finished the set off with a 5-0 run however to win the match at 3-0 overall. Arkansas-Monticello finished the contest with 37 kills on 123 swings for a .106 hitting percentage, compared to the visiting Harding stat line of 36 kills on 109 attempts for a .202 percentage. HU out blocked the Blossoms in this match-up as well, 8-4. UAM offensively was led by junior Shay Mitchell who totaled 11 kills on the night with 34 attempts. She added three assists and four digs to her stat line as well.
Henderson defeats UAM
ARKADELPHIA — University of Arkansas at Monticello was defeated by Great American Conference opponent Henderson State University in a three-set loss on the road. Final game scores from the match were 25-18, 26-24, and 25-18. Arkansas-Monticello (2-10, 0-2 GAC) despite keeping each set close throughout this contest, the Blossoms were only able to claim a small lead in the second set and early on in set number three over the Reddies (6-8, 1-1 GAC). HSU took advantage of the UAM errors in this match-up and were able to claim the three-set sweep victory. As a team, the Blossoms finished the match with 41 kills on 121 swings for a .165 percentage, compared to the Reddies who tallied 43 kills on 111 attempts for a .270 hitting percentage. Leading the offense on the night was Shay Mitchell with 15 total kills on 35 attempts for a hitting percentage of .343. Vanessa Pawlak added eight kills of her own along with seven assists. Kya Standford contributed two block assists in the match, two digs and four assists. Macy Mitchell led UAM in overall digs with 15 as well.
Golden Suns claim second GAC contest
SEARCY — The Arkansas Tech Golden Suns moved to 2-0 in the Great American Conference on Tuesday, defeating the Harding Lady Bisons, 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-19). The Golden Suns held Harding to just 28 total points and 23 kills, while scoring 54 points and picking up 44 kills. Tech (7-6, 2-0 GAC) exploded on offense in the first set, recording 19 kills and just one attack error to hit .462 as a team. Hunter Eshnaur led all players with nine kills in the first set Harding (9-3, 1-1 GAC) committed only two attack errors in the first game to go with 14 kills, but the Golden Suns took the first point of the set and never let the Lady Bisons tie or take the lead. In the second set, Arkansas Tech jumped out to an early lead again, opening the game on a 9-2 run. An 8-1 run later in the set put the Golden Suns ahead, 24-11. After three straight Harding points, Tech put the set away with a block by Lauren Rodemers and Kaylee Konsella. Matti Dix anchored the defense in the second game, picking up a match-high eight digs. Arkansas Tech struggled on offense in the final set of the match, hitting just .026. The Golden Suns’ defense stepped up, however, to limit Harding to just three kills and force nine attack errors.
OBU dismantles Southern Arkansas
ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Tigers improved to 10-2 and 2-0 in the GAC with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-18) win over Southern Arkansas University Tuesday night at the Sturgis Center in Arkadelphia. Adrianna Nolly led the Tigers with 12 kills and seven blocks, while libero Ashley Wake posted a match-high 23 digs. Junior middle Kori Bullard led the Tigers with a .583 attack percentage, finishing the match with eight kills on 12 attacks. Bullard also recorded two blocks. Freshman Katie Camp posted double-digits in kills for the second straight match, finishing the night with 10. In those two matches, she’s posted an attack percentage of .440. Ouachita setter Stormi Leonard finished the match with 36 assists and three blocks.