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3 Weeks Left: Suns Chasing a Championship

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Life is good at the moment for the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns volleyball team.

Eighteen consecutive wins at home, nine straight victories overall --- the most recent of which was a straight sets win over a perennial national power --- and sole possession of first place in the Great American Conference standings have head coach Kristy Bayer and the Golden Suns riding high.

Arkansas Tech (26-3 overall, 10-0 GAC) will hope to keep that momentum going with a pair of home conference matches at Tucker Coliseum this week.

The Golden Suns will host Southern Arkansas at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, and Arkansas-Monticello at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. No admission will be charged.

Arkansas Tech is coming off one of its most impressive volleyball wins in recent memory. The Golden Suns completed an undefeated run through the LaQuinta Inn and Suites Arkansas Tech Invitational by defeating Truman State 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 on Saturday.

Truman State has posted eight 30-win seasons, won seven Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association conference titles and finished as NCAA Division II national runner-up twice since 2000.

The Bulldogs were among the teams receiving votes in last week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II top 25.

A pair of Golden Suns saved one of the best performances of their season for Truman State. Tech's Carly Florian recorded a career-high 13 kills and Marcela Mascarenhas made 15 digs --- her second-highest total of the season in that category.

Laura Farney added 12 kills, 11 digs and three blocks, while Amber Cerrillos piled up 44 assists, six digs and three blocks. Taylor Brown (15 digs) and Brennae Benda (12 digs) helped the Arkansas Tech back row finish with a 63-44 edge in digs. Brittany Ryan had a team-high four blocks.

The next big goal for the Golden Suns is to win the GAC regular season title and clinch the privilege of hosting the inaugural GAC Volleyball Tournament Nov. 11-12.

Arkansas Tech enters this week one-and-a-half matches ahead of second-place Harding University (18-6, 9-2) with three weeks of regular season play remaining.

After hosting SAU and UAM this week, the Golden Suns will have four regular season league matches left --- Oct. 25 at East Central, Oct. 27 at Harding, home on Nov. 3 against Southeastern Oklahoma State and home for a Nov. 4 match with Southwestern Oklahoma State.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech volleyball.