Volleyball Takes Back-to-Back Wins

Golden Suns Volleyball 2021

Photo | Tara Espinoza

On Oct. 22, Golden Suns volleyball stepped on the court of Tucker coliseum  to play the East Central Tigers. Both teams came into the match with an 8-1 conference record and tied for the first overall spot in the GAC. During the first set, the Tigers won 25-21.

“[The Tigers]  came out strong during the first set, and they were pretty powerful from the start, and I do not think our girls were locked in together yet. However, towards the end of the set, I saw the ball start to change in our favor, and even if we lost the first match, I knew we could still win the game,” Kera Dukic, head volleyball coach, said.

During the second set, the Golden Suns were able to get out with an early lead 11-3 capped off with a kill from Emily Ragsdale. Two kills from Kaitlynn Bradley and another made by Haylee Paladini and Tymber Riley sparked the Golden Suns offensive attack, which left a score of 17-12 when a kill from Riley and errors made by the Tigers made the set score 24-17.

A kill made by Riley would finish the set with a win for the Golden Suns. Tying the match with one set apiece.

“This was a really important game for us because we were tied with the Tigers. We knew this would be a hard game, but we stayed focused and worked hard,” Dukic said.

The third set started with both teams trying to edge the other out. A 5-0 run made by the Golden Suns involved kills from Paladini, Abby Simpson and Brianna Merkel forced the run. Two aces from Megan Solberg helped put them on top 13-7. The team would hold the lead with a kill by Ragsdale, allowing them to secure the third set and move to a 2-1 advantage in the match.

In the fourth set, the Golden Suns would take the lead quickly, 5-0. Errors made by Golden Suns would cause the Tigers to tie the match 8-8. With another 5-0 run from Golden Suns with two kills from Ragsdale, an ace by Solberg and two errors by the Tigers caused a 13-8 lead to develop. The Golden Suns were able to take an 18-11 lead after errors made by the Tigers created momentum for the Suns. Two kills from Paladini and one from Ragsdale led the team to victory 25-17 set win, and a win the match 3-1.

The Golden Suns would play the next day against Southeastern Oklahoma.

“Our second day has not been our strongest this season. We are trying to find a balance between the games and making sure the team is taking care of themselves after games,” Dukic said.

The Golden Suns ended up sweeping the game with the first set ending 25-14. The second set was 28-26 and the third set was 25-22.

The Golden Suns next face Southern Arkansas in Tucker Coliseum on Oct. 28 at 6 PM. Earlier in the season the Suns took down SAU 3-0. It will be Pink Out night in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

To keep up to date with the Golden Suns volleyball team following them on Instagram @arkansastechvb.