Sports

Reddies VB hosts back-to-back home GAC matches

By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network

ARKADELPHIA —  Henderson State hosts Southeastern Oklahoma State University and East Central University in back-to-back matches starting Thursday at 6 p.m. when the Reddies battle the Savage Storm and then face the Tigers Friday at 4 p.m. 

Henderson State (7-12, 1-6)  
The Reddies fell on the road to Oklahoma Baptist and Southern Nazarene in last week’s matches, both teams defeating HSU 3-0.  

Over the two matches, Christiane Uzoh tallied 20 total kills, scoring eight against OBU and 12 versus SNU. For the season, the sophomore has reached 184 kills and has a team-high .217 attack percentage, the tenth best in the league. 

Larkin Luke has played her way into tenth on the GAC blocks leaderboard, averaging .81 per set with 42 total blocks. The sophomore had four in the Oklahoma Baptist match and two against Southern Nazarene. Kaitlyn Sykes leads the team after registering five blocks against SNU and one block against OBU to bring the junior’s total to 50.  

The Reddies have won five of the last six meetings against the Savage Storm and lead the head-to-head matchup 11-5. The last time Southeastern Oklahoma visited the Duke Wells Center was in 2019, when HSU defeated the Savage Storm 3-1. Henderson is 2-2 in the previous four matches when hosting SE and holds an overall home record of 6-3.

HSU has struggled against East Central with five wins and ten defeats. The Reddies fell to the Tigers on the road in the previous meeting 3-2. The last victory against East Central for Henderson was in 2019 when they swept the Tigers 3-0 in the Duke Wells Center.  

Scouting Southeastern Oklahoma State
The Savage Storm is still looking for its first GAC win after starting the season 0-7 in conference matches. Southeastern Oklahoma lost to Arkansas Tech and Harding 3-0 in last week’s matchups.

D’Nari Mills led the Savage Storm attack in the two matches with ten kills against Arkansas Tech and 11 in the Harding match. The freshman leads the team with 218 kills, averaging 3.52 a set, which is fourth best in the conference. Mills has scored the league’s third most points, registering 236 points for the Savage Storm.  

Sophomore libero Peyton Kriegel is the second member of the Southeastern Oklahoma team to feature on the GAC leaderboard. The sophomore leads the team with 23 service aces, averaging 0.41 aces a set, placing her sixth on the service leaderboard.

Scouting East Central
The Tigers enter the match against the Reddies with two consecutive GAC defeats to Harding and Arkansas Tech. East Central is eighth in league with a 3-4 conference record and is 7-13 overall.

Emma Strickland had 13 kills against Harding and tallied 20 versus Arkansas Tech. The sophomore outside hitter leads the team with 282 kills, averaging 3.71 per set, and is hitting .171 percent. Strickland is second in the GAC in total and average kills per set. The sophomore is also second in points scored, tallying 311 points over 76 sets.

On the net, redshirt senior middle blocker Aloni Jordan has registered 81 total blocks – 21 solo and 60 assists – averaging 1.09 per set is second best in the conference. The Tigers’ defense is also led by Alejandra Delgado, who has 352 digs and is averaging 5.25 per set. 

What to Watch For…

  • Sophomore outside hitter Christiane Uzoh is closing in on her season-high kill total with 184 currently. The Beaumont, Texas native tallied 232 kills in 2021 in 110 sets and is only 48 kills away from tying that number.

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