HAMMOND — Back-and-forth, nip-and-tack, down to the wire were all amply described in Northwestern State’s five-set victory over Louisiana Tech on Friday in a boot war hosted by Southeastern.
Three of the five sets were decided by a narrow two-point margin, including the decisive final set, as the Lady Demons (5-4) outlasted the Lady Texans 3-2 (25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 19-25, 15-13). .
“This was a tough match with many ups and downs, both physically and emotionally,” the head coach Sean Kiracoff he said. “It sounds cliche but it just comes down to fighting as a team to find a way to score and defend.”
After a split first set a day into their matchup against Southeast, the Lady Demons were anything but Louisiana Tech.
Efficiency was the name of the game as a producer. Piper Boydston And Amina Attr In the opening frame, they spread 15 kills among six different players, all with at least two kills on nearly 40 attempts with just three errors, a .308 attack percentage. Simon Wesley He led the crime with four murders Brenna Burrell three.
NSU was able to extend its lead to seven late in the set, capped by back-to-back kills from Wesley, before Tech pulled within three to force a timeout. The defensive read by the Lady Devils after halftime was picture perfect as Tech committed four offensive errors over the next five innings to outscore NSU 25-19.
Similarly to Thursday’s matchup, NSU saw the lead slip late in the second. Not only did Tech win the series by a score of 24-22, but they also swung the two points in the other direction with four straight points to steal the lead and even tie it.
Undeterred by the late rally, the Demons came out firing early in the third. They had four kills in the first six swings to take an early 5-1 lead. NSU stretched its lead to five before Tech closed the gap and went on a 5-1 run of their own to make it 11.
From then until the end of the event, there was no difference between the two teams. They went point-for-point and swing-for-swing, creating 11 more tie game opportunities until the end of the set.
When it mattered most, the Demons were able to find what they needed to win the crucial third set by taking advantage of Tech’s error and finding the winner. Amina Attr 26-24 kill.
NSU was unable to close out the match in the fourth set, with a match-high eight attacking errors, seven unforced, allowing Tech to build an insurmountable lead. The Lady Demons would trade points at the end of the set to make enough moves in the final frame to reach the impressive fifth and come away with the victory.
An early 4-0 run was key for the Demons in the final set, giving them the lead over A Brenna Burrell Kill at 5-3. The stretch after the turn, however, proved to be the most important of the match.
Wesley gave NSU the lead with a kill at halftime and then immediately followed with another. She had three kills in five NSU points that turned a one-point deficit into a 12-9 lead. She finished the event with four kills without an error, one shy of matching her career high of 18 kills in a single match.
Tech put together a late 3-0 burst to get within 12, but one of their nine service errors followed by one of NSU’s 11 aces provided the winning margin.
NSU continues its tournament weekend with ULM at 10 a.m. and Southern at 3 p.m