By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
ARKADELPHIA — After spending the last three weeks facing Sooner State opposition, Henderson State resumes action against opponents from the Natural State. The Reddies will cross the highway on Oct. 20 to take on rival Ouachita Baptist University at 6 p.m. in the second installment of the Battle of the Ravine.
Henderson State (8-15, 2-9)
HSU split last week’s matches against Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The Reddies came back from 2-0 down to stun NWOSU, defeating the Rangers 3-2 after winning three sets in a row. In the second match of the week, Henderson traveled to Weatherford, Okla. to face SWOSU, who defeated HSU 3-0.
In Henderson’s comeback victory over NWOSU, Aleah Stogner had a career-high night with 17 kills. The freshman also recorded three blocks and eight digs against the Rangers. Two Reddies recorded a double-double, with Madison Hatt accumulating 24 assists and 15 digs, while Nathalie Van tallied 15 assists and 14 digs. For Hatt, she has now recorded her eighth of the season, and Van tallied her first as a Reddie.
Christiane Uzoh and Stogner spearhead the Henderson attack with 234 and 155 kills, respectively. Uzoh has a team-high attack average of .220 and is averaging 2.82 kills a set. Middle blocker Kaitlyn Sykes rounds out the HSU attack with 101 kills and leads the Reddies’ defense with 66 total blocks.
The Reddies and Tigers met early this year in the Duke Wells Center in their first installment of the Battle of the Ravine, which Ouachita Baptist would win 3-0. The last time the Reddies made the trip across the highway was in 2021, when they swept the Tigers 3-0. HSU has won three of the previous four matches at the Sturgis Physical Education Center.
Scouting Ouachita Baptist
The Tigers are on a two-match win streak, having defeated Northwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas-Monticello by the same score line, 3-0. Ouachita Baptist is 7-5 in GAC matches, which places them fifth in the conference standings. The overall record for the Tigers is 15-10.
In the most recent match against Arkansas-Monticello, Riley Braziel led the team’s attack with ten kills and seven service aces. Braziel has the second-most kills and aces on the team with 233 and 31, respectively, while her strike partner Emily Adams leads OBU with 248 kills.
In defense, Lexie Castillow has racked up 463 digs, averaging 5.58 a set is the best in the GAC. The libero had 15 digs and a service ace against the Lady Blossoms. Kayla Steinmeyer guarded the net with four blocks in the Arkansas-Monticello match, bringing her total to 45 for the season.
What to Watch For…
- With the victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State, head coach Phil McDaniel is now two wins away from reaching the century mark of wins with Henderson State. In his sixth season, McDaniel’s overall record is 98-62 and is 48-37 in GAC matches.
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