NSU picks up its third win in a row to improve to 4-8 overall, 1-0 in the Southland as the Lady Lions fall to 6-7, 0-1.
“One of the things we stress with five-set matches is the ability to change the outcome of the match regardless of how we’ve been playing before that,” said fourth year co-head coach Hugh Hernesman. “Other than the first set we couldn’t ever gain any separation because we missed too many serves.”
Elrod made three solid serves in the fifth set to give the Lady Demons a 4-0 lead and put Southeastern at an arm’s length. SLU was unable to battle back as NSU made two, three-point runs to take a 15-8 victory.
The Lady Demons got ahead early, maintaining total control in the first set, including a powerful seven-point run to take a game-high 13-3 lead before finishing with a 25-11 mark.
SLU bounced back in set two, putting up two impressive runs to eventually tie the game at 22. Both teams traded points until coming to another tie at 25 when the Lady Lions put up a three-point run for the eventual 27-25 win.
Set three had similarities to its predecessor as Northwestern State held a five-point lead and SLU slowly battled back to tie the set at 25, but the Lady Demons held control and put up a 29-27 mark.
The fourth set included six ties and lead changes and two runs by each team as the score traded hands multiple times, finally coming to a 25-21 final in favor of the Lady Lions to tie the match at two.
Elrod knocked down 12 kills, 14 digs and two service aces to aid in the attack. Caiti O’Connell’s five service aces are noted as a season-high for her and the team, while she also put up 17 kills on the evening.
Glynna Johnson registered a career-high six blocks, as veteran Vanessa Coleman contributed four.
With a match that posed 11 ties and lead changes, the Lady Demons put up three season-highs as Elrod notched 45 total attempts, Emily Johnson dished out 28 assists and Keelie Arneson dug up 30 SLU attacks.
“Our middles set the tone early and they put up 13 blocks so they had a very efficient match,” said Hernesman. “I was impressed with how Southeastern rebounded from the first set, so it was a good quality match to start off the conference.”
Southeastern’s Mikayla Shippy dished out 45 assists for the Lady Lions.
Northwestern State continues Southland Conference play on Saturday as it hosts New Orleans today at 2:00 p.m. at Prather.