The Savage Storm have one more shot at the volleyball post-season at this Thursday’s regular season final.
It’s not a must-win game, but it’s close. Southeastern has posted a 3-10 record in the Great American Conference, currently half a game ahead of Henderson State (2-10) for the final tournament position.
Southeastern will host Southwestern at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bloomer Sullivan Gym. A win against the Bulldogs (9-4 but 11-18 on the season) will guarantee a Savage Storm appearance next week at the conference tournament in Searcy, Ark.
A loss will put Southeastern at the mercy of Henderson State, as HSU still has two conference games left this week. If HSU drops both, Southeastern gets in no matter what.
On Monday, the Savage Storm tuned up in a non-conference match against Pittsburg (Kansas) State. The Gorillas won in three straight, downing Southeastern 25-12, 27-25 and 25-15.
The Savage Storm continue to put up impressive individual numbers, even as the losses pile up. Taylor Benner racked up three service aces and 13 digs. Megan Kunkel had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs.
But the Gorillas posted twice as many kills and had 62 digs to Southeastern’s 46. They went 67 percent on attacks compared to 46 percent for the Storm.
After a glitch prompted the Storm to lead the crowd in an impromptu pre-game rendition of the Star Spangled Banner (on Election Eve, no less), the ladies came out flat on the court as Pittsburg State raced to the 25-12 win.
But Southeastern came back strong, taking a quick five point lead in set two. They were aggressive at the net, and Benner’s aces helped the cause. But the Gorillas bounced back to force extra serves and eventually took the set.
The Storm quickly fell into a 9-1 hole before Emily Gentle scored to break the doldrums, but they never fully recovered and dropped the third set 25-15.