The Northwestern Oklahoma State volleyball team earned the first 20-win season in program history inside Percefull Fieldhouse with a 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-23, 25-13) victory over East Central. Four seniors in Carley Geer, LaMonica Peacock, Bailey Cook and Liz Dwyer were honored with the victory in the final home game in a Ranger uniform.
After dropping a hard-fought first set, the Rangers (20-9, 10-5 GAC) began to impose their will on the Tigers (7-23, 2-13 GAC) and put down a total of 33 kills compared to just 22 from East Central in the final two sets combined. Northwestern put down a total of 65 kills throughout the match, thanks in large part to sophomore Kiauna Clark’s school record 55 assists throughout the match. Clark combined those 55 assists with three kills and five digs. Junior Hannah Williams was just one kill away from also putting her name in the Ranger record books, totaling 23 kills on the evening, one kill shy of matching the school record of 24 kills in a match.
Fellow standouts Jennifer Eubanks and Brooklynn Hesson each posted 14 kills for the Black-and-Red. Geer led the defensive effort on the evening with 32 digs, while Hesson and Williams both put together double-doubles with 16 and 18 digs respectively. Following the tough 25-27 loss in the opening set, the Rangers rattled off a 6-1 run after trailing 20-19 late in the second set to finally get the wheels turning in their direction. The Tigers continued to fight however, opening up an 11-7 lead to open the third set.
A quick run of points brought the Rangers back to with-in striking distance with the score sitting at 14-13, before six straight Ranger points that was started off by a kill from Eubanks and followed up by two highlight-reel put downs by Williams put some breathing room between them and the Tigers.
Despite the 19-14 advantage, it would take a critical 3-1 run late in the set to defeat the resilient opponents as they made things interesting down the stretch and tied the contest up at 22-22. A dominating fourth set finally put an end to East Central’s upset bid, as the Rangers posted a hitting percentage of .297 compared to a .000 percentage for the Tigers. The Rangers will now shift their focus to the final regular season game on Thursday on the road against archrival Southwestern Oklahoma State.