ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A week that started with so much promise for the Saint Leo University volleyball team as they earned the programs’ first-ever national ranking ended with the Lions third-straight loss as they fell to 5th-ranked West Texas A&M 3-2 (20-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 17-15) in a five-game heartbreaker at the McArthur Center on the campus of Eckerd College.
After the tough loss to #4 Tampa last night, the Lions came out on fire in the early game as they breezed through the Lady Buffaloes to take game one. In what became a great back-and-forth battle, both teams would split victories in the first four sets, setting up the nail-biting deciding game.
Saint Leo (12-3) had all the momentum early in Game Five as they jumped out to a 10-5 lead, but that was immediately followed by a 7-2 Lady Buffalo rally that tied the score. Each team would then trade side-outs up to the 15th point when a Texas kill and a SLU attack error gave the match to the visitors.
Although on the losing side of the scoreboard, the Lions had four players post double figures in kills as sophomore Kaitlin McKenna led SLU with 16 kills and a .556 attack percentage. She was joined by Jenna Jordan, Audrey Starkebaum, and Leah Perry in double-digits for the evening.
The Lions, who out-blocked the visitors from Texas 18-to-7, were led defensively by McKenna who posted nine block assists and junior Chelsea Armer who pulled up 22 digs in the loss.
The Lions will head back into Sunshine State Conference play on Tuesday as they host Florida Tech at home. The match is scheduled to get underway at 7:00 p.m. at the Bowman Center on the campus of Saint Leo University.