SAN ANTONIO, Texas— McNeese volleyball bounced back from its five set loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Thursday night with a straight set 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-23) Southland Conference win over Incarnate Word here Saturday to finish the week with a 2-1 morning record and remain in a three-way tie for first place.
“After two emotional five setters earlier this week, I’m proud of the way we took care of business today,” said head coach Sasha Karelov.
McNeese (16-14, 12-4 SLC) was led on offense by Nejra Hanic’s match high 12 kills and .455 hitting percent and on defense by Lizzy Low’s match high 23 digs.
“UIW has some big arms, and we did a good job of slowing them down. Lizzy (Low) was absolutely outstanding on defense. Our middles, Sanni (Rantanen) and Kenzie (McKenzie Moore) were patient in transition.”
Setters Mia Perales and Deja Dade both ended the match with double digit assists with Perales dishing out a match high 23 and Dade ending the match with 11.
“Our first touch was steady, which gave our setters confidence to distribute the ball effectively.”
The Cowgirls’ blocking played a huge factor in today’s win with McNeese out blocking UIW 14-5. Kendall Glueck was credited with five blocks while Sanni Rantanen had four and McKenzie Moore had three.
UIW (6-20, 5-11 SLC) was led in kills by Annamarie Alvarez’s 12 kills.
McNeese will close out the regular season next week with home matches against Southeastern and Lamar.
The Cowgirls will host Southeastern on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 4 pm before hosting Lamar in their regular finale at 1 pm on Saturday, Nov. 12. Saturday’s match will be senior day and the 2022 seniors will be recognized prior to the match.
“Another big week ahead, and I’m excited to finish the regular season at home.”
McNeese took a 2-1 lead and increased the lead to 12-6 on a Skyeler Embry kills. UIW got within one (15-14) but McNeese held off the Cardinal run and went on one of their own to pick up the win.
The Cowgirls jumped out to a 3-1 lead on a kill by McKenzie Moore. UIW got within one (10-9) but a run by the Cowgirls extended the lead to 20-15. A 6-3 run by UIW put the set at 23-21. Out of the Cowgirl timeout, a kill by Embry put the Cowgirls at set point then a UIW error gave McNeese the 25-21 second set win.
UIW took 3-1 lead and then extended the lead to 7-3. McNeese got within two points (10-8) on a kill by McKenzie Moore and a block assists by Moore and Kendall Glueck. UIW went on a 3-1 run to extend the lead to 13-9. Following a timeout, McNeese put together a 4-1 run to pull to within one point (14-13). A kill by Sanni Rantanen tied the set for the first time at 14 all. Three straight points by UIW gave the Cardinals a 17-14 advantage but the Cowgirls responded with two points on kills by Dejah Dade to pull to within one point (19-18). Trailing 22-18, another timeout seemed to work in the Cowgirls’ favor as they scored five straight points take its first lead of the set at 23-22 on a McKenzie Moore kill. UIW tied the set on the next rally but kills by Nejra Hanic and Glueck gave the Cowgirls the 25-23 set win and the match.
• McNeese out blocked UIW 14-5
• Nejra Hanic led all players with a match high 12 kills and a .455 hitting percent
• Lizzy Low picked up a match high 23 digs
• Mia Perales led all players with a match high 23 assists
• Kendall Glueck led McNeese with five blocks
• Mia Perales has dished out 10 or more assists in 29 of 30 matches
• Bailey Tillman has picked up 10 or more digs in 26 of 30 matches
• McNeese has won 11 of its last 13 matches
• Eight of the last 11 wins have been in straight sets
• It’s the first time since 2017 McNeese has won 10 or more SLC matches