Junior defensive specialist Lisa Copeland led HU with 27 digs
SEARCY, Ark. (Harding Univ.) - The Harding volleyball team had a season-high 100 digs as they defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State 3-2 in the semifinals of the Great American Conference Tournament on Friday. The Lady Bisons will take on Arkansas Tech in the Championship match at 2 p.m., on Saturday.
Harding improved to 27-6 on the season and extended their winning streak to 13 matches. The Lady Bisons also remain perfect at home with a 12-0 record.
Harding's 100 digs tied a GAC Tournament record. Southwestern Oklahoma State had 100 against Ouachita Baptist in the first round of last season's tournament.
Six Harding players had over 10 digs in the match. Junior defensive specialist Lisa Copeland led HU with a career-high 27. Senior setter Amber Schinzing added 15. Sophomore defensive specialist Taryn Eubank, sophomore outside hitter Marindia Turner and junior outside hitter Mollie Arnold each had 13 digs. Freshman defensive specialist Shelby Daniel had 10.
Three Harding players also finished with a double-double. Mollie Arnold led HU with 17 kills. Marindia Turner had 16 kills and Amber Schinzing had 51 assists. It was the fourth time this season Schinzing has had over 50 assists in a match.
The Lady Bisons took a 2-0 lead in the match (25-20, 25-18) before the momentum shifted in SWOSU's favor.
Southwestern Oklahoma State took a 19-18 lead in the third set on a kill by junior middle blocker Alison Cole. The Bulldogs didn't look back as they went on a 6-3 run to take the set 25-21.
Harding took a 16-11 lead in the fourth set before the Bulldogs went on a 6-2 run to cut the lead to one, 18-17. The two teams exchanged points until SWOSU took a 23-21 lead on a 4-0 run on three kills by Alison Cole. Harding tied the set at 23 on kills by Taryn Eubank and Marindia Turner but two Harding errors gave SWOSU the set 25-23.
The Lady Bisons jumped out a 7-4 lead in the fifth set. The Bulldogs didn't get any closer than two the rest of the way as HU took the set 15-11. Mollie Arnold led HU with five kills.
Southwestern Oklahoma State was led by junior setter Lindsay Dusin who had 15 kills. Alison Cole had 14 kills. The Bulldogs had 96 digs in the match and were led by junior defensive specialist Saasha Jacobson who had 30.
Harding had 12 blocks in the match. Junior middle blocker Alyssa Short led HU with eight blocks which ties the Harding record in the GAC Tournament that Alex Smith (2008-11) set last season.
Saturday's match will be a rematch of the last season's tournament championship. Arkansas Tech defeated Harding 3-2.