War Hawks top Cowgirls in crosstown volleyball match


ABILENE, Texas - The McMurry University volleyball kept its hot start to 2017 going by winning its American Southwest Conference opener at home versus crosstown rival Hardin Simmons University, 3-1. The War Hawks (7-2, 1-0 ASC) defeated the Cowgirls (23-7, 1-1 ASC) by set scores of 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-17 before a crowd of 578 at Kimbrell Arena.

Fans from two local colleges also engaged in a friendly "competition" in raising money for the purchase of "Flood Buckets" of cleaning supplies to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. And the faithful from each school came through big, raising just over $850 total.

On the court, McM easily controlled set one, winning 25-17. HSU's lone set win of the night came in second, but it took a while. With the Cowgirls ahead 21-17, a bank of lights in Kimbrell Arena went dark causing a 22 minute delay until action resumed, when HSU finished it off with the 25-20 win. In the final two sets, however, the War Hawks turned out the lights for good on the visitors, winning 25-23 and 25-17, respectively, to claim the match.

McMurry took control of matters on the offensive attack, with the team amassing a .240 attack average for the match (including a sterling .357 in set one and .310 in set three). Conversely, the cowgirls managed just a .080 attack percentage against the War Hawks' front. The McM trio of Khristyn Howard, Justice McGowan and Verlyncia Nelson collected all but one of the team's blocks. McGowan had three blocks, while Howard and Nelson had two blocks, apiece.

McGowan shared match-high honors with 12 kills and had a .333 attack average. Jordyn Burnell and Jasmine Jones contributed nine and eight kills, respectively, with Nelson chipping in seven. Burnell led McM's attack by hitting .438.

The setter tandem of Emarie James and Lauryn Davis collected 34 assists (19 for James and 15 for Davis). Libero Odalis Rodriguez led all backrow players with 16 digs, with Burnell making 12 digs. Rodriguez also had a pair of aces to her credit.

HSU was coming off of a three-set sweep of 2017 ASC West pre-season favorite, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, last night.

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