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VB: HBU bounces past the southeast by five

HAMMOND, La. – HBU rallied from a set down to even the game in the fourth, then rallied from five points down in the fifth, beating Southeastern 8-1 down the stretch, to escape with a 3-2 (26-24 , 23-25, 14-25, 25-18, 15-13) Southland Conference volleyball victory Saturday afternoon at the University Center.

Senior central blocker Ebonie Ballesteros led the Huskies (13-6, 4-1 SLC) with 12 kills and nine blocks, while junior right-back Anna Gadway had 11 kills, 14 dives, five blocks, four assists and two aces. First-year center blocker Audrey Pearce and second-year outside hitter Sara Arroyo each had nine shots and first-year outside hitter Alexia Jones had eight spikes and 17 dug as the team leader. Senior center blocker Jada Allen added seven shots and junior setter Ellie Wipf had 51 assists, 11 attacks, four shots and four blocks. Second-year Libero Kaley Feris proposed 15 excavations and first-year defense specialist Tatiana Evans was 13.

Cicily Hidalgo led the Lions (4-12 , 3-2) with 24 attacks and 12 attacks, while Karlee Wilkerson had 17 attacks and three blocks. Crispin Adams had seven kills and four blocks. Gracie Duplechain logged 46 assists and 15 excavations. Ansley Tullis led SLU with 19 digs, while Jolie Hidalgo and Calli Collins had 11.

SLU hit .185, while HBU hit .159, but the Huskies had six more kills. The Lions outscored the Huskies, 79-76, but were outscored 13-10. HBU recorded six aces to SLU's 3.

The first set was an offensive attack, with HBU hitting .298 with 19 attacks and SLU hitting .368 with 16 attacks. The Huskies shot out to score seven of the game's first eight points, but the Lions rallied late to tie the set 23-23. The two teams traded kills, before HBU got an Allen kill and a Gadway ace for a 26-24 victory.

HBU led 18-15 in the second, but SLU tied again. The score remained tied at 20-20, but the Lions scored a pair and then held the decision 25-23. The third was all the Lions who jumped to a 12-2 lead. SLU finished the set with a five-point run to claim the 25-14 victory.

The Huskies came out early in the fourth, scoring nine of the first 11 points. The Lions were back to three, but the Huskies responded with three in a row to extend the lead to 17-11. HBU scored the last three points of the set for a 25-18 victory to tie the match at two sets apiece.

In the fifth, the two teams tied 6-6, but SLU scored four in a row. After an ace from Addie Vidrine, the Lions led 12-7. HBU then ripped off a six-point run, with Ballesteros and Gadway teaming up on back-to-back blocks, one kill by Jones, then three kills in a row by Gadway for a 13-12 lead. SLU got a block to end the race and tie the set, but another Gadway kill got HBU to establish the point and a Lions attacking error ended the game.

The Huskies will also be on tour next week, facing UIW on Thursday in San Antonio, followed by defending league champion Texas A & M-Corpus Christi on Saturday in Corpus Christi.

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