UAFS was the preseason favorite to repeat as Heartland Conference regular-season volleyball champion, and the Lady Lions are ever so close to making that prediction a reality.
The Lady Lions will host the Lubbock Christian Lady Chaps at noon on Saturday at the Stubblefield Center in conference play. A win against the Lubbock Christian will guarantee UAFS no less than a share of the league title for the second consecutive season.
UAFS (17-6) is 13-0 and the only undefeated team in conference play. The Lady Lions own a four-match lead over the Dallas Baptist Lady Patriots (12-13, 9-4), which they have swept this season, and the Lady Chaps (14-9, 10-4), who are provisional NCAA Division II members and ineligible to compete for the conference title.
If UAFS wins on Saturday, it would have no less than a four-match lead with four matches remaining – at St. Edward’s (Nov. 7), at McMurry (Nov. 9), at home against Texas A&M International (Nov. 14) and at home against St. Mary’s (Nov. 16).
It will be the third meeting in the all-time series between UAFS and Lubbock Christian. UAFS is 2-0 against Lubbock Christian, which lost in four sets to the Lady Lions on Sept. 26 in the first meeting of the season.
UAFS will carry an 11-match winning streak into the match and is coming off a hard-fought four-set win against the University of Texas of the Permian Basin on Thursday night at the Stubblefield Center.
Although a provisional NCAA Division II member, Lubbock Christian was alone in second place in the overall conference standings until losing to DBU in four sets on Thursday night at The Burg Center in Dallas.
The loss snapped a three-match winning streak by the Lady Chaps, whose league losses are to St. Mary’s (twice), UAFS and DBU.
It will be the second match of a three-match homestand for UAFS. The Lady Lions will host Missouri Southern State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night in a nonconference match before starting a two-match conference road trip to St. Edward’s and McMurry.