Lions Eliminate Suns at GSC Tournament

North Alabama ended Arkansas Tech’s Gulf South Conference Tournament championship hopes by defeating the Golden Suns 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18 in the semifinal round at the University of West Florida Field House in Pensacola on Saturday.

The Lions (21-8) won this one at the net. North Alabama had 13 team blocks compared to four team blocks for Arkansas Tech (31-5).

UNA also finished with a 6-2 edge in service aces in a match that was otherwise very even.

Four Lions reached double figures in kills, led by Sarah Roberts with 12.

Sarah Von Lienen made a match-high 20 kills for the Golden Suns. Laura Farney (photographed) added 10 kills and 12 digs. Kelly O’Malley, Sara Motsinger and Ashlynn Hamrick notched six kills apiece.

Tech’s Kera Dukic recorded 42 assists and eight digs. Brennae Benda (16 digs) and Thabata Galvao (12 digs) helped the Suns match North Alabama in digs at 62 each.

Arkansas Tech will now await the announcement of the field for the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament. Eight teams will be invited to participate in the NCAA Division II South Regional.

The Golden Suns were ranked ninth in the final regional poll of the regular season.

The announcement of the field for the NCAA Tournament will be made on Sunday, Nov. 14, at 9 p.m. on

If the Suns are not part of the field for that event, it will mark the end of one of the most successful volleyball seasons in school history.

Arkansas Tech achieved its sixth 30-win season and its ninth regular season conference title during the 2010 volleyball season.