The Stetson University volleyball team extended its winning streak to five with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-18) victory over Southern Friday morning at the Tangi Tourism Lion Classic in Hammond, La. The Hatters (6-4) dropped their second match of the day 3-1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-23, 25-22) to tournament host Southeastern Louisiana.
Stetson's five-game winning streak marked the team's longest since 1988 when the Hatters won seven straight.
"We got off to a slow start and played better as the match went on," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said about the first contest against Southern. "Our defense wasn’t real strong. It was a good win for us but we wanted to play better than we did."
In the match against Southeastern Louisiana, the Hatters dropped the first set but led wire-to-wire in set two. The final two frames were both seesaw affairs in which the Lady Lions (3-6) pulled ahead late.
"I was proud of our effort, we played hard and hustled, and fought to the end," Loesch said. "We still almost pulled out games three and four by not playing our best. It is definitely something we need to learn from and take care of our side of the net.
"We didn’t attack well as a team," Loesch continued. "Mel (Melville) and Ellen (Hawks) did, but we really need to get everybody clicking so that we don’t rely on a couple players to carry us. We also need to pick up our defense. It wasn’t our best defensive effort. Against good teams that’s going to be the difference."
Offensively the Hatters hit just .120 and suffered from 11 service errors, but also served a season-best 11 aces.
"We were trying to serve them aggressively, and we ended up with the same number of aces as errors, and I am usually fine with that," Loesch said. "The problem was the defense was not very good. We didn’t slow down their top players at all."
Kaley Melville picked up her fourth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs. Tiffany Creamer chipped in eight kills and four blocks, Madison Akins tallied seven kills and five blocks, while Ellen Hawks added seven kills, four blocks, and a .353 attack percentage.
Michelle Kastner picked up 14 digs, Kayla Weller had four aces to go along with 28 assists, and Erika White registered a solo block and three block assists.
Due to technical issues, statistics for the Southern match are not currently available.
The Lion Classic will continue Saturday as the Hatters face Nebraska-Omaha at 10 a.m. and Louisiana Tech at 2 p.m.