Hardin-Simmons’ volleyball team came into the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament as the No. 4 seed, they left as the champion for the fourth straight year defeating East Texas Baptist, 25-21, 25-16, 15-25, 26-24 on Saturday evening at the UTD Activities Center in Richardson.
ETBU took the first match between the two, but because the Cowgirls were undefeated in the double elimination tournament an if necessary game was used.
Hardin-Simmons 3, East Texas Baptist 1 (25-21, 25-16, 15-25, 26-24)
In the second championship match, the first game was tight throughout and was tied at 20, but HSU used a 4-0 run to take a 24-20 lead and won 25-21. The Cowgirls took an early 12-6 lead in game two and never looked back in a 25-16 win.
ETBU answered in the third game with a strong performance and a 25-15 win.
HSU jumped out to a 14-9 lead in the fourth game, but ETBU battled back and took the lead 21-18. ETBU led 24-21 when the Cowgirls scored five straight points for the win.
In the winning rally, tournament MVP Christine Sas had two kills, ETBU had two hitting errors and Hannah Hornsby closed the match with a kill.
Sas had 17 kills and 15 digs in the title game to go along with four blocks. Hornsby had 12 kills and Tori Martinez added 19 and a .444 hitting percentage. HSU hit .257 as a team in the final and had 12 blocks.
Martinez had six of those. Martinez and Hornsby were also named to the all-tournament team.
East Texas Baptist 3, Hardin-Simmons 1 (25-18, 25-14, 18-25, 25-22)
In the first match, ETBU won the first two games in convincing fashion 25-18, 25-14 before HSU rallied for a 25-18 win in the third game. The Tigers closed the match with a 25-22 win.
Christine Sas had 12 kills and 17 digs and Tori Martinez had 10 kills. Ashley Babineaux had 19 digs and Molli Owen had 22 assists to pace HSU. HSU hit a tournament-low .137 and ETBU hit .243.
Kolby Sharp had 14 kills and Mallory Sanders added 13 for ETBU.
HSU is now 23-15 on the year and ETBU is 32-10. The announcement of the NCAA Regionals, which HSU won an automatic berth, will be on Monday.
Information provided by HSU athletics department.