Golden Suns bounce back, clinch playoffs

MATTHEW EMERY / THE ARKA TECH
MATTHEW EMERY / THE ARKA TECH
MATTHEW EMERY / THE ARKA TECH

After losing back-to-back Great American Conference matches for the first time in nine years, the Golden Suns volleyball team answered back with two straight 3-0 sweeps and a 3-1 GAC victory to clinch a GAC 2016 Championship appearance last week.

The sweeps came last Tuesday against non-conference opponents Central Baptist and Lyon College, in which the Golden Suns hit a combined .395 against the two.

The Golden Suns were able t0 hold both opponents to negative at- tack percentages, -.080, and -.023, respectively. This is the first time back-to-back opponents have been held to negative attack percentages since 2012.

The Golden Suns continued to set highs, as they posted their highest hitting percentage, .436, since 2014.

The Golden Suns followed the back-to-back sweeps with a 3-1 con- ference victory over Henderson State last Thursday.

The win clinched a spot for the Golden Suns in the Great American Conference 2016 Championship, which begins Nov. 18 in Hot Springs.

Hunter Eshnaur, of Russellville, finished with the most kills for the Golden Suns, tallying 13, putting her fourth in the GAC in kills.

Lauren Rodemers, of Plano, Tex- as, registered 10 kills, a team-high .304 hitting percentage and tied a career-high with 8 assisted blocks.

Amanda Milnick, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, collected her seventh double-double of the season, with 10 kills and a career-high 41 assists.

The Golden Suns will finish the regular season with three more conference games, including one final home game this season, next Tuesday, against Harding at 6 p.m.