Suns Take Big Step Toward GSC West Crown

Arkansas Tech has the Gulf South Conference West Division volleyball title within its reach following a 23-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-19 victory over the Christian Brothers Lady Buccaneers at Canale Arena in Memphis, Tenn., on Thursday night.

Three Golden Suns reached double figures in kills as Arkansas Tech (26-4 overall, 9-1 GSC) took a one-match lead in the GSC West standings over Harding (15-10, 8-2) with just two regular season league matches remaining for both teams.

Sarah Von Lienen had 16 kills and six blocks, Laura Farney (photographed) made 15 kills and 11 digs and Kelly O’Malley notched 11 kills for the Golden Suns, who avenged their only conference loss and their only home loss of the season. CBU defeated Tech 3-0 in Russellville on Oct. 5.

Arkansas Tech’s Kera Dukic (47 assists), Brennae Benda (18 digs), Marcela Mascarenhas (11 digs) and Thabata Galvao (10 digs) also reached double figures in their areas of specialty on Thursday.

Ashlynn Hamrick added six kills, two digs and two blocks, while Sara Motsinger had five kills and three blocks for the Suns.

Michelle Hein was credited with 11 kills and 13 digs for Christian Brothers (16-12, 8-3).

The Golden Suns will return home to host a non-conference doubleheader at Tucker Coliseum on Friday night. Tech will face Philander Smith at 5 p.m. and Central Baptist at 7 p.m.  Admission will be free.

Arkansas Tech will try to clinch at least a share of the GSC West title when it visits Arkansas-Monticello on Tuesday, Nov. 2.