The Howard Payne Lady Jackets swiped the first game from ASC West leader Hardin-Simmons, but couldn’t hang on to the momentum as the Cowgirls rallied for their 14th consecutive victory, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17 Tuesday night at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The fifth-place Lady Jackets (9-14, 4-9), in search of their first ASC tournament berth since 2000, slipped 1 1/2 games behind third-place Schreiner (8-11, 4-6) — which visits HPU at 7 p.m. Thursday — for the final berth from the West in the conference championship tournament. Concordia (10-14, 5-8) dipped to fourth place with a loss at second-place Texas Lutheran (13-10, 10-3).
Offensively, Sarah Bishop led the Lady Jackets with 11 kills followed by nine from Hannah Hicks and five each from Carlee Ammons and Sarah Davies. Allyson Reed dished out 14 assists while Jessica Guerra chipped in 10.
Defensively, Taylor Jordan recorded 17 digs trailed by 15 from Shelby Bridges, while Hicks tallied seven blocks and Ammons and Bishop contributed two blocks apiece.
Hardin-Simmons improved to 18-3 overall and 12-0 in ASC action with the victory. The Cowgirls own a 2 1/2-game lead in the ASC West and would host the conference tournament if they maintain their cushion.