Sept. 24, 2013
RUSTON, La. - After fighting back from two sets down, Louisiana Tech could not muster up enough of a comeback and fell to in-state foe Northwestern State, 3-2 (15-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18, 11-15), Tuesday night at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston.
The Lady Techsters (6-9) closed out non-conference play with a valiant effort after dropping the opening two sets to the Lady Demons of Northwestern State (6-8) only to fall short in the end.
Head coach Adriano de Souza and his team left much to be desired offensively in the first two games of the match with a negative hitting percentage and just 12 kills compared to the Lady Demons' 27.
The Lady Techsters fought back in the third and fourth sets, as the team hit over .500 in both sets and forced Northwestern State into a decisive fifth set.
In the fifth, the Lady Demons outhit LA Tech .250 to .176 and took the set 15-11 to avoid dropping the match after an early two-set lead.
"We played five sets today and two of them were very good and the team had a hitting efficiency above .500 in both of them," de Souza said. "We are a young group and matches like these help our players gain experience. They all know that in the process of becoming the type of team we want to be, they need to be very deliberate in the way they practice every day and compete in every match. Tomorrow we return to practice with some homework to do."
As a team, the Lady Techsters were a force to reckon with at the net with a total of 12 blocks, a season high, compared to Northwestern State's four.
For LA Tech, junior Rebecca Redgen notched her second double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs on the night, while Xzache Mathis led the Lady Techsters with a total of 18 kills and a .310 hitting percentage versus the Lady Demons.
The Lady Techsters, who are currently ranked fourth in the nation in service aces per set, recorded 10 service aces in tonight's match with Dalane Guidry leading the way with three.
Junior libero Jessie Ely recorded 13 digs, a team high, versus Northwestern State, while Maria Coelho had 11 digs and a team-leading 39 assists.
Sophomore Fenix Calderon put together a six-kill performance with a .250 hitting percentage while also totaling six blocks versus the Lady Demons. Senior Caitlin Germany tied Calderon for the team-lead with six blocks as well.
Northwestern State was led offensively by Caiti O'Connell (17 kills), Stacey DiFrancesco (16 kills) and Mackenzie Neely (14 kills), who each reached double digits in the win. Glynna Johnson led with three total blocks for the Lady Demons on the night.
Tonight's match concluded non-conference play for LA Tech as the Techsters will host UTEP at 7 p.m. Friday in the team's first Conference USA match. C-USA play continues at 1 p.m. Sunday as UTSA will travel to face LA Tech in the Thomas Assembly Center to conclude the weekend.
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