By Randy Bruce
September 18, 2013
BETHANY, Okla. – Southeastern’s Emily Gentle turned in a double-double, the team in kills and digs, however it was not enough as the Savage Storm dropped it Great American Conference opener on the road to Southern Nazarene, 3-1 on Tuesday night in Bethany, Okla.
The loss drops SE to 5-4 overall and 0-1 in GAC play heading into a Saturday afternoon matchup with Northwestern Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. on Sept. 21 in Alva, Okla.
Gentle turned in one of her best all-around matches of the season, finishing with 19 kills while hitting .245 on the attack, and leading all defenders with 22 digs and chipping in a pair of blocks.
SE came out firing as Gentle turned in five of her kills in the first set and the Storm racked up 17 as a team while hitting .351 and taking the first set 25-22. However, as strong as the first set was, the second set was the polar opposite as the club finished with nine kills as a team and hit just .086 a SNU evened the match with a 25-12 win in the set.
The lead changed hands several times in the third set, with SE holding a couple three-point advantages, with the last coming at 17-14, and was up 19-18 before the Crimson Storm went on a 7-2 run to end the set with a 25-21 win and put Southeastern in a 2-1 hole.
The fourth set was similarly close like the third set except it was the Savage Storm playing catch up for the majority of the match, finally drawing even one last time at 20-20, only to see SNU score the final five points, three of which were on SE attack errors, and win the clenching set 25-20 and take the match 3-1.
Ariel Sanders joined Gentle in double-digit kills as she turned in her best offensive performance of the young season with 14 kills while hitting .370.
Courtney Miller chipped in seven kills, while Megan Kunkel had one of her roughest offensive outings, finishing with five kills. Freshman Maggie Benson also added five kills while playing in just one set.
Madelynne Cera turned in her second-best assist outing of the season with 41 assists on the contest and posted a double-double of her own with 14 digs.
Aside from Gentle’s match-high 22 digs and Cera’s 14, Taylor Benner also added 14 digs in the match, while Miller and Kunkel added eight apiece.
Gentle and Julia Benford each added a pair of blocks.