ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – The Saint Leo University volleyball team did not have the second day they had hoped for, as they finished their trip to Arkansas on Saturday with a win and a loss. The Lions took care of business in the day’s opening match sweeping through Ouachita Baptist 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-23), but saw 15 sets of volleyball in 22 hours catch up to them and, as a result, lost a five-game heartbreaker to Arkansas Tech 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, 15-5).
The win against Ouachita Baptist saw the Lions outhit the hosts .312 to .200 as junior Jenna Jordan posted a double-double with 12 kills and 18 digs. Sophomore Kaitlin McKenna was the most accurate Lions in the opener as she went 10-for-17 with a lone error for a .529 average. Freshman Danielle Bletso also had an outstanding game as she hit .417 and played in role in six blocks in the easy sweep of the Tigers.
It was the final match that will leave the Lions with a sour taste as Arkansas Tech showed SLU that their 19-3 overall record was nothing to laugh about. Although Saint Leo alternated games with the Golden Suns through the first four, Tech jumped on the Lions in the fifth game as the Lions ran out of gas, hitting a abysmal -.067 while Arkansas Tech hit an unreal .462.
As a team for the match, the Lions (21-7) hit .180 compared to .228 for Arkansas Tech. Jordan posted 19 kills to lead the team and sophomore Kim Nuckols came from nowhere to post a double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs. McKenna also had double-digit kills with 10 and a team-leading .381 percentage.
For the day, junior Michelle Nogueras had 66 assists and 26 digs.
The Lions now look to the second half of their conference schedule as they will host Eckerd College on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. The Tritons swept Saint Leo in St. Petersburg last month to hand the Lions their first loss of the season. Tuesday night will also be Hawaiian Night where the Lions encourage all Saint Leo fans to wear Hawaiian themed clothes and help support Saint Leo.