HALTOM CITY, Texas – The shorthanded Wiley College volleyball team gave it their all in their first two matches of the season in the Sooner Athletic Conference and Red River Athletic Conference Clash. In the end, the Lady Wildcats came up short with losses to Southwestern Christian University (25-19, 25-27, 17-25, 23-25) and Texas Wesleyan (18-25, 26-28, 20-25).
Wiley College (0-2) were without RRAC MVP candidate Lucille Ricord, RRAC Defensive Player of the Year candidate Gayle Lockett and Lujien Sallam. In their absence new players stepped up. Freshman Alissa Johnson posted a team-high 20 digs. Freshman Olena Fedorenko led the team in blocks with eight.
The Lady Wildcats trailed Southwestern Christian 8-6 in the first set before scoring seven unanswered. Jayme Bazile recorded a kill and two serving aces. Noemi Garza added a kill and Southwestern Christian made three attack errors.
After a rally cut the lead to one, Wiley College regained control of the set by taking advantage of five attack errors. Fedorenko clinched the set with a kill. The second set was competive, Wiley led by as many as two but found themselves facing set point trailing by two. Kills by Bazile and Miyah Keller tied the set at 24. Wiley took the lead on a kill by Bazile. Southwestern Christian evened the match with two kills and a service ace.
Wiley jumped out to an early lead in the third set with kills from Bazile and Rebecca Moustapha and three attack errors by Southwestern Christian. The Lady Wildcats gave up the lead and weren’t able to recover. Coach LaKyva Bason said she saw some good things.
“It was our first game. There’s still so much to figure out,” Bason said. “It’s like putting a puzzle together. You just put the pieces in the right places. Overall, I’m pleased. We are taking it one day, one game and one point at a time.”
Moustapha, who played her first game since the 2014 season led the team in kills with 11. Bazile had 10 with five blocks and four digs. Keller had 19 digs. Sydnie Beckett and Garza each recorded 16 assists.
Against Texas Wesleyan, Moustapha led the team with 13 kills and a .462 hitting percentage. Garza led the team with 18 assists. Beckett recorded 16. Keller led the team with 20 digs. Fernanda Aguiar recorded 12. Bazile led the team with six blocks.
The Lady Wildcats wrap up the SAC/RRAC Clash at noon Saturday in Waxahachie, Texas, against Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Wiley will immediately play St. Gregory’s University at 2 p.m.