LUBBOCK, Texas (September 12, 2013) – Lubbock Christian University was handed its first-ever Heartland Conference volleyball loss Thursday at the Rip Griffin Center, losing in three sets (25-23, 25-21, 31-29) despite 15 kills by Kacey Deterding and 12 from Abby White.
A sweep by the visitors seemed imminent midway through the third set, with the Lady Chaps (2-4, 1-1) being outplayed in the first pair of games and down 19-12 before staging a ferocious comeback. Two kills by Amy Edwards brought LCU to within four, and a Deterding ace revved up her team and brought them to within striking distance, trailing 22-20. With the Lady Chaps on the verge of defeat at 24-21, White and Deterding both came through with momentous kills, moving LCU to within one.
With Kyleigh Lucia at the serving line, she placed two serves in just the right spots to earn back-to-back aces, tying the game at 24. LCU then seemed to earn another point on a kill, but a discrepancy between the line judges went in favor of the Rattlers (1-4, 1-0), again tying the game. After a kill by Tyler Webster, St. Mary's Kelsey Huber attacked the ball in a terrific spot, just out of the reach of an outstretched Lucia to give the Rattlers a one-point edge at 27-26. A back-and-forth battle ensued, with Deterding forcing a tie at 29-29. Karlie Ortega pushed the Rattlers back on top with a kill, and Melissa Heft finished the match at 31-29 with a nicely placed hit just over the fingertips of two LCU blockers.
Just like the final set, the first was closely contested as well, incurring seven ties and five lead changes. After such a close contest, it was a tough end for the Lady Chaps to lose on a serve by Rattler Karlie Ortega, as she directed the ball to hit the top of the net and drop straight down to the floor, sending the Lady Chaps scrambling and winning the set for St. Mary's.
In the second game, after producing an early 7-5 advantage on a kill by Deterding, LCU allowed the Rattlers to make consecutive four-point runs and push the score in St. Mary's favor at 20-13. Lubbock Christian inched back into the game at 22-19 on a kill from White, but eventually succumbed 25-21 to the Rattlers.
The Lady Chaps are host to the Windmark Insurance Heartland/Lonestar Crossover on Friday, beginning play at 11 a.m. against Texas A&M-Kingsville, followed by a 7 p.m. contest against Texas A&M-Commerce. LCU wraps up play in the last match of the tournament on Saturday at 3 p.m., facing Midwestern State.