ABILENE, Texas - Hardin-Simmons' volleyball team claimed its third straight American Southwest Conference volleyball title with a 25-23, 25-23, 25-23 win over Texas-Dallas on Saturday afternoon at the Mabee Complex in Abilene.
The tightly-contested match never saw either team lead by more than four points and there were 34 ties and 15 lead changes in the match.
"I knew it would be close," said HSU head coach Sabrina Bingham. "They are a talented team, but I am so proud of my leaders on this team. They put the team on their back and that is what great players do. It was awesome to do this in front of the loudest crowd we have ever had here."
HSU has now won 49 straight matches at home dating back to 2006. HSU also has won 25 straight matches on the year and improved to 29-3 on the year. Texas-Dallas fell to 27-7 on the year. It was the Cowgirls fourth ASC title.
The first game was tight throughout and tied at 14-14, but HSU used a 6-2 run to take its biggest lead of the day at 20-16. UTD battled back to tie it at 23 and then Christine Sas and Gabi Martinez had back-to-back kills to give the Cowgirls the win.
In the second game UTD led 10-7 but the Cowgirls came storming back and took a 13-12 lead. Neither team led by more than two points and again it was tied at 23-23. HSU closed the game out with a kill by Morgan Watts and an attack error by Dana Hilzendager.
The third game was again close throughout and for the third straight game tied at 23 and HSU won the tournament title on back-to-back kills from Madison Reyes and Hannah Hornsby.
Reyes had 11 kills and six digs and was named the tournament MVP for the second straight season. Christine Sas had 10 kills and 18 digs and was named to the all-tournament team and Tori Martinez had 13 kills. Hannah Hornsby also was named to the all-tournament team for HSU.
"I am so proud of this team," said Reyes. "We have all worked really hard to get to this point, but we want to take the next step in this program. We are excited to win the tournament on our home floor but have bigger goals. We want to go further than any team has ever gone at HSU, we had that as a goal from day one and it is still out there for us."
The Cowgirls hit .234 as a team and had eight service aces in the match. UTD hit .207.
HSU will advance to the NCAA Tournament and the bracket will be announced on Monday at 10 a.m.
Information provided by HSU athletics department.