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Volleyball heads to Southland Conference Tournament

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SAN ANTONIO - The University of the Incarnate Word women's volleyball team heads to Hammond, Louisiana as the No. 8 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament. The Cardinals face the No. 5 Lady Demons of Northwestern State in the first round at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Mon Nov 14, 2022

SAN ANTONIO - The University of the Incarnate Word women's volleyball team heads to Hammond, Louisiana as the No. 8 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament. The Cardinals face the No. 5 Lady Demons of Northwestern State in the first round at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17.  

FOLLOW THE MATCH   
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THE LAST TIME THEY MET   

After meeting exactly a week before, the Lady Demons defeated the Cardinals in a five-set match that proved to be one of the most thrilling UIW matches this season. 

Northwestern State took an early 13-10 lead in the first set. Taylor Stoops then set up a near-perfect ball for Annamarie Alvarez to slam her right hand and start a run to eventually tie the set, 13-13. The Lady Demons then turned around the momentum to take the set 25-22. 

The Cardinals came out hot in the second to take a 4-1 lead after a dominating block by Kade Thomas and Risa Sena. Sena also completed back-to-back kills to stretch out the lead, 6-3.  As the Lady Demons climbed up to 22-19 over the Cardinals, the UIW offense welcomed the pressure. An unanswered six-point run by the Cardinals capped off the second set win as Palmi and Alvarez combined for three kills and Thomas served back-to-back aces.  

Northwestern State came back to win the third, but UIW wasn't going down without a fight. After collecting a total of 16 kills from six different Cardinals, the match was forced into a fifth set after the 25-20 win.  

Alvarez punched a ball into the Lady Demon side to tie up the set at five and give UIW a boost of energy. Points went back and forth as Northwestern State caught a small lead, but Kyla Malone answered back with a kill of her own. Ultimately,  the Lady Demons took the match 3-2.  

Alvarez and Malone led both teams with 17 kills each. Palmi followed behind them with eight. Thomas had a night with two aces and three blocks. Stoops accounted for 35  assists, Natalie Kimmel  added 19, and Audrey Patton finished with two. In addition to Malone's 17 kills, she tabbed her fifth double- double this season for with 16 digs.  

THE COMPETITION 

Northwestern State is currently on a four-game winning streak.  

The Lady Demons are led by Breanna Burrell with over 300 kills on the season averaging about three kills a set. Behind Burrell is senior Symone Wesley and freshman Reaghan Thompson, combining for over 480 kills. Setter Amina Attra has also played well this season totaling 530 assists this season with an average of 4.6 assists per set. 

On the defensive end, Northwestern State is led again by Wesley and Thompson who prove to be  all- around players for NSU. Wesley has 470 digs and Thompson has 133 blocks. The sophomore libero, Ashlyn Svoboda is also proving herself defensively leading the teams with 454 digs.  

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS 

Don't let the record fool you, these Cardinals are one to watch.  

These past few weeks the offensive groove has been rolling for the Cardinals. With offensive weapons such as Alvarez (242 kills), Malone (235 kills) and a setter like Stoops, the team is not one to take lightly. Stoops is in the top five in the Southland Conference for assists with 809 on the year, she also remains in the top ten for service aces as well.  

Sena and Arrington will also be Cardinals to watch on Thursday. Both are not only forces offensively, but defensively too. Arrington has 84 blocks on the year to add-onto her 167 kills. Sena's tallied up 218 kills to go along with her 206 digs. Audrey Patton, has also made a name for herself recently, averaging 3.8 digs per set,  helping to keep the Cardinals balanced. 
 

FOLLOW ALONG
For the most up-to-date information on UIW Athletics, visit uiwcardinals.com, follow the Cardinals on Twitter @UIWAthletics, and like UIW Athletics on Facebook.  

Follow the team on Twitter @UIWVolleyball and Instagram @uiw_volleyball.

 
--UIW CARDINALS--