Magnolia, AR (ATU) - Arkansas Tech Volleyball hit the road for the first time in Gulf South Conference action here Thursday evening by posting a three-set victory over Southern Arkansas (25-19, 25-18, 25-16) in front of 432 fans at the W.T. Watson Athletics Center on the SAU campus.
With the win, Tech improves to 14-3 overall and 2-0 in the GSC and runs its win streak to nine straight matches, while SAU falls to 6-5 overall and 0-2 in the GSC. In addition, Tech has now opened GSC play 2-0 for the fourth straight year.
The nine match winning streak is the longest for the Golden Suns since the 2008 squad won 14 straight matches en route to winning the GSC West Division title and finishing with a 31-5 overall record.
In Thursday's match, Tech used another dominant offensive performance as the Golden Suns hit .367 for the match and recorded 42 kills and had just six errors in 98 attack attempts. In Tuesday's GSC opener against Ouachita Baptist, Tech hit .394 and had 52 kills and just nine errors in 109 attack attempts.
Senior middle blocker Sarah Von Lienen (Lakeland, Tenn.) led the way as she recorded 11 kills and hit .421 as she had just three errors in 19 total attempts against the Lady Muleriders. Along with Von Lienen, junior outside hitter Laura Farney (Morton, Ill.), who was named the GSC West Division Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week on Tuesday, added nine kills, 12 digs, three blocks, including two solo blocks and hit .375 in the win, while senior right side hitter Ashlynn Hamrick (Jackson, Mich.) had seven kills and hit a team-best .636.
Tech opened the match by recording 10 kills and hitting .280 en route to posting a 25-19 win in the first set. In the first set, SAU, who finished the match hitting .207 and recording 27 kills, hit .167 and had 11 kills. In the final two sets, Tech recorded a combined 32 kills and hit a combined .397 as Tech posted its ffith-straight three-set win and its ninth three-set victory of the season.
While Tech hit .397 and recorded 32 kills over the final two sets, the Lady Muleriders recorded a total of 16 kills and was held to a .226 hitting percentage.
Becca Pate led the way for SAU with eight kills and 11 digs, while Jordan White had seven kills and two blocks in the loss.
For the match, both teams each had six blocks and eight service errors, but Tech recorded 56 digs and had six service aces, while SAU had 39 digs and one ace.
The Golden Suns will return to action on Tuesday, Sept. 28, as they play host to Harding (6-7 overall, 1-0 GSC) in a 7 p.m. match at Tucker Coliseum. The match is being billed as "Pack the Stands" Night as Tech is seeking to set a new school and GSC record for single-match home attendance. The current school record for attendance is 975, which was set at last season's "Pack the Stands" Night against Southern Arkansas, while the GSC record is 1,203, which was set last season in a match between Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist.