September 21, 2012

Hustle Plays Fuel Pirate Win in Conference Opener

GEORGETOWN, Texas – SU's never-say-die attitude fueled the Pirates to a 3-1 win over Austin College to open SCAC conference action on Friday night.

Southwestern came out strong and took control of the first set early, using suffocating blocks from Lorin Froetschel and big kills from Rachel Thibodeau to take a 15-6 lead.

A well-placed timeout allowed the 'Roos to regroup and pull within six, 16-10, but that is as close as the Pirates would allow as they closed out the set 25-19 thanks in large part to a great hustle play by Chandler Lentz.

The second set got underway and was a seesaw battle through the first 16 points, deadlocked 8-8. AC took advantage of an SU hitting error and got an ace on a short serve from Rachel Fusselman to lead 10-8, but a long rally sparked a Pirate comeback to push Southwestern into the lead 11-10.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Austin College came bounding back and was the first to 15 and then took a four-point lead 16-14, forcing Southwestern into a timeout. SU wasn't able to break the 'Roos' run, however, and dropped the second set 25-20.

AC opened up the third with a slight lead, but Southwestern regained control, 9-8, with a big kill from Thibodeau, spurred on by chants of "Let's Go Bucs" from the crowd. With momentum on their side the Pirates opened up a six point lead, 16-10 and hustled all over the court to win 25-17. 

Southwestern was unstoppable in the fourth set, using a long rally in the middle of the set to close out the match with a 25-13 set win. 

The Pirates improve to 9-4 on the season and start 1-0 in conference play. They face Centenary at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow and close the Divisional with Dallas at 3 p.m.

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