SEARCY - The Harding volleyball team sealed there seventh Gulf South Conference West Division title Tuesday as they defeated Henderson State, 3-1. With the win, Harding will host the 2009 GSC Tournament Nov., 13 and 14. Harding improves to 26-5 on the season and 10-1 in the GSC West Division.
Both teams battled for control in the first set. Henderson State took a 17-16 lead on two Harding attack errors but the Lady Bisons fought back to take a 21-19 lead. The Lady Bisons closed out the set on three straight kills to take the set, 25-22.
With the second set tied 3-3, Henderson State went on a 9-0 run to take a 12-3 lead and didn't look back taking the set, 25-15. The Lady Bisons only had seven kills in the set.
Both teams battled for the lead in the third set, before Harding went on a 5-0 to take a 21-16 lead. Harding only allowed Henderson State to score one more point as the Lady Bisons took the set, 25-17.
Henderson State jumped out to an 11-6 lead early in set three but the Lady Bisons slowly battled their way back in it, coming to within two of the Lady Reddies. Henderson State jumped back on top taking a 18-13 lead but the Rhodes Rowdies rallied the Lady Bisons as they went on a 8-0 run to take a 21-18 lead. Harding had four straight points to take the set, 25-19.
Playing their last regular season home game, the Harding seniors led the Lady Bisons on the night. Senior Manuela Nesheva, reigning GSC West Division Player of the Week, led Harding with a season high 28 kills and 11 digs. It was the ninth time this season Nesheva has had double-double and the 36th time in her career. Fellow senior Sarah Phipps was the other Lady Bison in double-figures kills with 12.
The Harding defense was led by junior Emily Tate who had 26 digs in the match. Amber Parker added 17 digs to the Lady Bison total of 77.
Henderson State also had two players in double-figure kills, leading the way was Robin Law who had 15. GSC kills leader Tatiana Kuhn added 13 kills. GSC digs leader Bethany Wright led the Lady Reddies defense with 24 digs in the match.
Henderson State had 10 blocks in the match.
The match was tied 27 times, 11 in both the first and third sets. The lead also changed hands 11 times.
Harding recognized three seniors after the match, Nesheva, Phipps, and Samantha Anderson for their dedication and Harding work.
The Lady Bisons will play their final GSC match in Arkadelphia, Ark., Thursday facing Ouachita Baptist at 7 p.m.