Score: Arkansas Fort Smith 3, Lubbock Christian 2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-11)
Folders: Lubbock Christian (4-8), UAFS (7-5)
Location: Rip Griffin Center – Lubbock, TX
Lubbock Christian University had a 2-0 lead and led the third set 10-4, but Arkansas Fort Smith rallied and beat LCU to spoil their Lone Star Conference opener inside the Rip Griffin Center. LCU dropped despite 14.0 team blocks and one career outing by Kalli Dallandwho posted 13 kills and nine blocks. sage chain and Aliyah Gray each had 11 wins to join Dalland in double digits. Chyra Thompson (17) and Caelyn Gunn (16) combined for 36 kills as the two helped UAFS to a 67-53 elimination advantage. Gunn added 16 digs to have a double-double performance.
How did it happen
LCU won the first set despite UAFS having a 15-13 advantage in kills. The first set featured the score tied at 10 different times. LCU looked like they would navigate the set after a 6-0 run took them to an 18-13 advantage, but UAFS rallied with a 7-1 advantage to take a lead of 20-19. Four different Lady Chaps killed in a 6-2 Lady Chaps run to close out the set. Hannah Holland led the UAFS with five kills in the set. Kendall Mahaney produced eight digs for LCU and Aliyah Gray had a trio of kills and a block to lead them with 3.5 points in the frame.
The second set had another neck and neck start, with the score tied at 12-12 before a UAFS service error and three attacking errors led LCU to a 16-12 lead. Kalli Dalland mixed in a pair of kills and it turned into a 9-1 LCU run for a 20-13 lead. LCU won the set 25-19 behind four kills from sage string.
A solo block of Kalli Dalland put LCU up 10-4 in the third set, but the Lions roared. An 8-2 Lions trade tied the set 12-12. The set was tied up at 16-16 and LCU trailed 22-21 before UAFS closed the set on a 3-1 run for a 25-22 victory. UAFS hit .297 in the set, with Caelyn Gunn producing five kills in the frame. The two teams combined for 7.0 eliminations in the set, with UAFS leading with 4.0.
UAFS started to pull apart once tied at 9-9, as they sprinted to a 9-2 push for an 18-11 lead. They closed the set with a 6-2 outburst to win the set 25-16 and force a deciding fifth set. LCU was limited to 10 eliminations in the set, with Gray producing four of 10 (Dalland had three, as they combined for seven of 10).
Trailing 2-0, the Lions went on a 7-1 run (Paola Fragalla had a trio of wins in the run) and took a 7-3 lead, but LCU responded with a 7-3 run for tie the set 10 -ten. Chya Thompson killed the Lions to end LCU’s run. It sparked a 5-1 run to close the match with a 15-11 set win. Thompson finished with five kills in the final frame.
Inside the numbers:
|4||LCU, tying their total losses from last season (8), have not suffered four straight losses since the 2020 season. The loss puts them with a 4-8 record.|
|24-4||The Lady Chaps went 24-4 all-time in conference opens. Their loss was their first opener loss on an LSC conference schedule, and their first for a conference opener since September 21, 2017. Ironically for LCU, this contest was also against UAFS.|
|9||Kalli Dalland had career highs in eliminations (13) and blocks (9), with his nine blocks matching the third-highest total in a single game by a Lady Chap since 2008 (tied for the highest for a game in five sets over the same period for LCU ). Block total is LCU’s highest since sage string had 9 on October 23, 2021.|
|14||LCU posted the top 14 team blocks of the season. That’s the most since they had 14 against UT Tyler last season (Sept. 22, 2021) and the mark is tied for sixth in a game for LCU since 2008.|
|1-1||The victory put the LCU with a 1-1 record in matches decided in five sets this season. LCU went 4-1 last season in five-set matches and are 5-2 under head coach Keith Giboney in the results in five sets. The home loss marked the first five-set home defeat since September 28, 2019 (against UTPB).|
|5-2||UAFS improved to 5-2 against LCU in Lubbock and they are 13-3 all-time against LCU.|
LCU stays home Saturday to take on Oklahoma Christian for an LSC contest at 1 p.m. inside the Rip Griffin Center.