PHOTO | Tara Espinoza
The Golden Suns volleyball team returned to action in triple matches, earning back-to-back sweeps and ultimately falling to Quincy in their closing match.
In the week’s first match, the Golden Suns played against Southern Arkansas in a homeopener. The Suns scored the first four points with a pair of aces from Gracie Palmer and a kill by Maddi Siedenburg and would stay dominant through the first set, winning the first set 25-12.
In the second set, the Suns and Muleriders fought back and forth, and after a tie match, a kill from Siedenburg, two from Merkel, one from Kaitlyn Neal, and two aces from Jamie Myrick gave the Suns a 14-10 lead. After errors made by the Muleriders, the Suns ended the set with a 25-16 win.
“Our goals were to play smart and serve tough, and I think our team did that,” Kera Coleman, head coach of the Golden Suns, said.
On the night’s final set, the Suns battled after the Muleriders took a 4-2 lead. After three errors made by the Muleriders, the score was 11-7. With a kill from Hale and a pair of kills from Seidenberg, the Suns had an 18-10 lead. The Golden Suns would pull off a sweep following an error to take the final set 25-21
“This was a home opener and our first conference match, so it felt great to win. We are thankful that everyone came out to support us; the stands were packed,” Coleman said.
The next match would take place on Sep. 9, and the Golden Sun earned another sweep with a 3-0 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Suns saw an early 7-3 lead in the night’s first set. However, after a few errors by the Lady Lions, the Suns lead 14-7. Kaitlyn Neal made three straight kills for a 19-12 lead. After a 23-23 tie, the Suns managed to take the first set of the night, 27-25.
In the second set, the Suns started hot with Siedenburg picking up a kill and two service aces to make it a 4-1 lead. With a trio of kills, one from Brianna Merkel and two from Heather Thomas, the Suns would hold a 12-9 lead. A pair of kills from Abigail Weaver and two errors by Arkansas-Pine Bluff pushed the Tech lead to 19-14. The Suns would grab a 2-0 lead.
In the night’s final set, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lady Lions would open with the lead 5-3. After threestraight errors by the Lady Lions, the Suns were back on top with a 6-5 lead. The fight was on as both teams traded points. When Olivia Crowl made a kill and an error by the Lady Lions, Tech earned the 3-0 sweep.
“Always feels great to win. We were able to evaluate ourselves after the first match at UAPB and felt ready to face them again on our home court. UAPB is a Division I program that is well coached and plays hard. We knew we would have to step up our game big time to beat them,” Coleman said.
The next match is against Harding University on Sep. 15 at 6 p.m. To follow the volleyball team’s next matches, go to their Instagram page @arkansastechvb.