Wayland Baptist made its home debut by going 3-0 over the weekend, capping the sweep with wins Saturday over Langston, 25-10, 25-12, 25-13, and Our Lady of the Lake University, 25-27, 25-17, 28-26, 25-20.
“That’s a good start to our home season,” WBU coach Jim Giacomazzi said as his team improved to 8-2 with a seven-match win streak. The Pioneers are 2-0 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Wayland opened SAC play with a 3-0 win over Central Christian on Friday. OLLU (4-2) also swept both Central Christian and Langston prior to meeting the Pioneers in the unofficial championship match of the weekend.
“Our Lady of the Lake was in the (national) tournament last year, so it’s always good to beat a team that’s nationally recognized,” Giacomazzi said.
Wayland got it done with an excellent blocking performance. The Pioneers produced just one solo block but 28 block-assists, including nine by Alexa Hinojos which is one shy of the school record held by all-American Shahala Hawkins. Lucie Mahelova and Jayla Schultz ended with five block-assists each.
“Our blockers worked really hard to line up correctly and stop their offense. They did a good job there,” Giacomazzi said. “Alexa did a super job. That’s one of the things you want to see.”
The coach also highlighted his team’s digging. Wayland ended with 85 digs, six more than OLLU’s 79. “They are a good digging team, so the fact that we outdug them says a lot,” Giacomazzi said.
Amber Daniel led the way with a career-high 29 digs, followed by Ariel Marquez with 19 and Mahelova, who had 47 assists, with 10. “Amber and Ariel both had good nights.”
“We kept our reception errors down (four), so I was very pleased with that. We talked a lot about blocks and block penetration. We made the adjustments we needed in that fourth set.”
Tatijana Markic and Wendy Cobbah (.450) paced the Pioneers’ hitters with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. “Wendy did a good job. Her and Paxton Patterson are tag-teaming that position and had 19 kills between them with only four errors. That’s a lot of juice coming from that side of the court. Tatijana’s 12 kills are good, we just have to minimize her errors.”
Against Langston (3-3, 0-2 SAC), Daniel ended with a team-high nine kills and 10 digs, while Patterson had eight kills and hit .462. Mahelova produced 24 assists while Markic recorded four aces and Jayda Nelson three.
Wayland’s seven-match win streak will be tested Tuesday when the Pioneers host NCAA Division II Lubbock Christian at 7 p.m.
“LCU is a solid team with a new coach. They’ll serve a little tougher than we’ve seen,” Giacomazzi said.