The Howard Payne Lady Jackets were unable to hold a 2-0 lead as the McMurry Lady War Hawks rallied for a five-set American Southwest Conference volleyball victory Tuesday night at the Brownwood Coliseum.
With their loss, the Lady Jackets (8-16, 5-9) fell 4.5 games behind third-place McMurry (16-7, 8-5) and 2 games back of fourth-place Hardin-Simmons (10-14, 7-6) in the race for the third and final playoff berth from the West Division in the six-team ASC championship tournament set for Nov. 2-4 at the site of the East No. 1 seed, which is currently UT-Dallas (18-5, 12-3).
Howard Payne won Tuesday’s first two sets 25-19 and 25-21, while McMurry stormed back with wins of 25-12, 25-23 and 15-8 over the final three sets to complete a regular season sweep. HPU also fell in three sets at McMurry on Sept. 30.
In the rematch, Zhartezia Bradley recorded a season-high 24 kills for the Lady Jackets trailed by seven each from Jordan Rogers, Kailey Doering and Kylie Metcalf, four from Macy Maniscalo, two each from McKenna Walker and Cheyenne Lovelady and one from Sarah Bapeli.
Lovelady dished out 44 assists with Jordan Livingston contributing three and Maniscalo, Walker and Bapeli adding one apiece.
Livingston and Lovelady also finished with two aces apiece while Walker and Maniscalo each added one.
At the net, Bradley tallied six blocks, Doering added two and Lovelady, Maniscalo, Walker, Rogers and Metcalf were credited with one each.
Livingston’s 37 digs were a team-best followed by 17 from Jazmine Bridges, 15 from Walker, 14 from Ashley Moore, seven from Lovelady, two from Maniscalo and one each by Rogers, Metcalf and Bradley.
For McMurry, Jasmine Jones tallied 16 kills, Lauryn Davis distributed 24 assists, Jordyn Burnell served four aces, Odalis Rodriguez collected 27 digs and Madison Reed recorded four blocks.
HPU hosts Hardin-Simmons at 2 p.m. Saturday.