Category Archives: Sports

Volleyball loses marathon championship match to XULA

The volleyball team dropped a five-set thriller against Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament Championship Match. The Saints are now 21-5 overall. The Gold Nuggets receive an automatic bid to the NAIA Volleyball Championships. Tijana Kruta and Camila Ramirez were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, “We knew it was going to be a battle and it was an absolute classic of a championship match. We can analyze all we want but the bottom line is that one single bounce and we are celebrating rather than in tears. The effort was there and I’m so proud of this team. This will be fuel and the future is bright!”

History
The Saints were 5-2 against the Gold Nuggets prior to the match.

Basics
The Saints won a competitive first set 25-22. Ramirez recorded three kills in the final five points and OLLU had three aces. The Gold Nuggets responded in the second set with a .382 hitting percentage. Both teams had double digit kills in the second frame, but Angela Egonu’s power sealed the set for the Gold Nuggets.

The back-and-forth contest continued after the match was evened by Xavier. The Saints forced XULA into 13 errors in the third set. OLLU won the final five points of the set to take a 2-1 lead. The Saints committed costly errors towards the end of the following set. The frame was tied 18-18 and the Gold Nuggets won seven of the next eight points.

Championship honors were on the line in the fifth and deciding set. The Saints jumped out to an 11-8 advantage and forced a timeout by the Gold Nuggets. The teams swapped points and OLLU eventually had a match point at 14-12. Egonu recorded another kill for Xavier and Ramirez followed with an attacking error. Kennedy Wade had a pair of kills following the 14-14 tie to give XULA the title.

Scoring overview
Set One – OLLU 25 – XULA 22
Set Two – XULA 25 – OLLU 17
Set Three – OLLU 25 – XULA 16
Set Four – XULA 25 – OLLU 19
Set Five – XULA 16 – OLLU 14

Set review
In the first set, OLLU recorded 15 kills and seven errors on 36 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .222.

The Saints had 11 kills in the second set and three errors on 31 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .258.

In the third set, OLLU recorded six kills and three errors on 26 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .115.

The Saints had nine kills in the fourth set and seven errors on 34 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .059.

In the fifth set, OLLU recorded five kills and four errors on 29 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .034.

On the offense
Overall, the Saints had 46 kills for a hitting percentage of .141. XULA totaled 63 kills for a hitting percentage of .189.

Ramirez led the Saints with 15 kills. Egonu totaled a team-high 20 kills for the Gold Nuggets.

Lauren Reynard assisted on 40 plays for the Saints. Emi Riglioni tallied 28 assists for the Gold Nuggets.

Defensive standouts
OLLU had a total of 60 digs, led by Ramirez with 22. Linda Mungai tallied 29 digs for XULA.

Serving it up
Ramirez and Julissa Casas had two aces apiece for the Saints. Three different Gold Nuggets players had one service ace each.

What’s next
The Saints will have a chance at a bid to the NAIA Volleyball Championships. The announcements for the 48-team bracket will be made today at 10 a.m.

Women’s soccer falls to TAMUT in RRAC Tournament semifinals

The women’s soccer team ended the 2022 season with a loss against Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) 5-1 on Nov. 10. The Saints finish the year with an 8-4-7 overall record and 5-1-5 mark in Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) play. The Eagles advanced to the RRAC Tournament championship match. 

Head Coach Arthur Salazar commented, “Certainly, this is not how we envisioned ending the season. Nevertheless, I’m proud of this team in how they handled the season. I want to make sure to thank our seniors for everything they have given to this program and university. Their commitment and sacrifice have helped us to maintain a high level of competitiveness during their time here. Making it to the conference final three years straight and finishing top four this year is no simple feat. I am so thankful each of these players have chosen to be here at OLLU and appreciate their efforts.”

History
The Saints were 5-1-1 against the Eagles prior to the match.

Basics
The Eagles offense hit on all cylinders during the RRAC Tournament semifinal. Italia Avila started the scoring at the 21st minute on a penalty kick and Johanna Rodriguez added another goal at the 37-minute mark. Lyndee Rheinberger responded for the Saints following the 2-0 deficit. She scored with an assist from Kyleigh Spree-Kolos just under a minute after the Eagles went ahead 2-0. The Saints went into halftime down by only one goal.

Texarkana’s offensive pressure continued in the second half. They tallied three goals and denied the Saints from scoring. The Eagles totaled nine shots on goal and seven corner kicks. The Saints took eight shots with four on goal. Tess Pitcher made four saves in net for OLLU.

Scoring overview
22′ – TAMUT – Italia Avila
37′ – TAMUT – Johanna Rodriguez
38′ – OLLU – Lyndee Rheinberger (assisted by Kyleigh Spree-Kolos)
61′ – TAMUT – Keyla Quiroz (assisted by Ariell Hopkins)
81′ – TAMUT – Alyssa Daily (assisted by Chayce Walker)
85′ – TAMUT – Chayce Walker

Inside the box score
Leading the way for the Saints’ offense was Rheinberger and Sara Garza with two shots on goal each. Three different Texarkana players had two shots on goal.

Overall, the Saints tallied eight shots, with four on goal. Texarkana recorded 14 shots with nine on goal.

OLLU had four corner kicks and the Eagles took seven.

Seven from OLLU are on the Volleyball All-Red River Team

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the 2022 All-RRAC Team and postseason award-winners as voted by the conference’s coaches. The RRAC also recognized student-athletes who best exemplify the tenets of the NAIA Champions of Character program with the Volleyball Champions of Character team. OLLU has seven members included in this year’s team.   

Recipients from OLLU are as follows:

Setter of the Year: Lauren Reynard

Co-Defender of the Year: Tina Trevino

Freshman of the Year: Mia Dorsey

Camila Ramirez joins Reynard, Trevino and Dorsey on the All-Conference First-Team. Both Ramirez and Trevino are second-year honorees.

Second-Team honorees are Mia Francis, Madalyn Gonzalez and Tijana Kruta. Kruta was named to the First Team in 2018 and the Honorable Mention Team in 2019 and Second Team in 2020 and 2021. Gonzalez also adds Champions of Character honors this year.

Five Saints selected to Women’s Soccer 2022 Red River Athletic Conference All-Conference Team

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the 2022 RRAC Women’s Soccer All-Conference Team. Postseason award winners were voted by the conference’s head coaches.

Named to the All-Conference First Team is Deanna Tarango. She was part of the First-Team in 2020.

Madison Herrera has been named to the Second Team. In 2019, she received Honorable Mention honors and in 2020 and 2021, she was named to the First Team.

Receiving Honorable Mention are Kyleigh Spree-Kolos and Rachel Dziuba. Spree-Kolos was part of the Second-Team in 2020 and the Honorable-Mention Team last year. Dziuba is also the team’s Champions of Character selectee.

Kaitlyn Olivas is selected to the All-Freshman Team.

Women’s soccer advances to RRAC semifinals after defeating Louisiana Christian

Fueled by two goals from Kaitlyn Olivas and an outstanding defensive performance, the women’s soccer team will advance to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championships Semifinals match. The Saints outmatched the Wildcats of Louisiana Christian University (LCU) to win 2-0 in the quarterfinals this afternoon.

The Saints – the No. 4 seed – will now face the No. 1 seed Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Texarkana, Texas. The winner of the semifinals match will play winner of the other semifinals match between No. 2 University of Houston-Victoria or No. 3 LSU-Alexandria on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.

The Saints are now 8-3-7, while LCU ends its season at 8-5-2.

History
The Saints had previously lost two matches to the Wildcats. Last season, they lost in the regular season 2-0 and in the postseason 2-0.

Basics
The Saints wasted little time getting on the board. After a corner kick from Ez Calles, Kaitlyn Olivas scored to put the team ahead 1-0 at the 10th minute.

The game stayed at 1-0 through the second half when Olivas found the net on an assist from Deanna Tarango at the 57th minute.

The rest of the match was a defensive battle that kept either team from scoring.

Inside the box score
Irania Acosta and Olivas led the Saints offense with two shots each, with Olivas adding two shots on goal. Riley Perez, Lyndee Rheinberger, Tarrango and Bethany Garr each had one shot.

Three Wildcats added one shot each, with Kaura Magleau recording on shot on goal.

Overall the Saints marked eight shots, five on goal, while LCU had three shots, one on goal.

OLLU had six corner kicks while the Wildcats had none.

Tess Pitcher had one save and earned the win for the Saints.

Volleyball earns conference title with wins over JCU

The volleyball team defeated Jarvis Christian University (JCU) in a pair of matches on Saturday. The Saints finish the regular season with a 20-4 overall record and an undefeated 16-0 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) mark. The team set the longest winning streak in OLLU history with 15. The Saints were also crowned RRAC regular season champions this weekend.

Head Coach Scott Mattera said, “I’m proud of how we executed what we planned for in the first match. This team has learned the ability to change styles and prepare for specific type of play. Mia Francis played an extremely mature match on the outside mixing power and shots. I’m hoping the second match was the wake up call we needed. I think we coasted a bit after securing the conference regular season championship. Jarvis caught fire in the second match which we knew they were capable of. Our bench came through huge when we needed them, and we were able to survive and protect the undefeated conference regular season.”

History
The Saints were 19-0 against the Bulldogs prior to the matches.

First match
Basics
The Saints swept the Bulldogs in the first match of the doubleheader. OLLU committed only seven errors and forced Jarvis into 15. The Bulldogs made the Saints battle in the first and third set but were held to nine points in the second set. The Saints played one of their best sets of the season in the final frame. They totaled 18 kills and had a hitting percentage of .417. Francis and Mia Dorsey finished with double-digit kills.

Scoring overview
Set One – OLLU 25 – JCU 19
Set Two – OLLU 25 – JCU 9
Set Three – OLLU 25 – JCU 20

Set review
In the first set, OLLU recorded seven kills and two errors on 20 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .250.

The Saints had 11 kills in the second set and two errors on 25 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .360.

In the third set, OLLU recorded 18 kills and three errors on 36 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .417.

On the offense
Overall, the Saints had 42 kills for a hitting percentage of .324. JCU totaled 30 kills for a hitting percentage of .073.

Dorsey and Francis led the Saints with 10 kills each. Asiah West totaled a team-high six kills for the Bulldogs.

Lauren Reynard assisted on 32 plays for the Saints. Johnice Hubbard and Lee-Andra Morin tallied 13 assists each for the Bulldogs.

Defensive standouts
OLLU had a total of 45 digs, led by Tina Trevino with 13. Chloe Buchanan tallied nine digs for the Bulldogs.

Serving it up
Julissa Casas tallied two aces for the Saints. Jarvis failed to record an ace.

Second match
Basics
The Saints were tested in the final match of the regular season. Three out of the four sets were decided by four points or less. Jarvis took the third set behind a .229 hitting percentage after losing the first two. Both teams tallied double-digit kills in the final frame and OLLU was able to escape with a four-set victory. Tijana Kruta assisted on four blocks and Reynard finished the weekend series with 72 total assists.

Scoring overview
Set One – OLLU 25 – JCU 16
Set Two – OLLU 25 – JCU 23
Set Three – JCU 25 – OLLU 21
Set Four – OLLU 25 – JCU 21

Set review
In the first set, OLLU recorded eight kills and five errors on 28 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .107.

The Saints had 18 kills in the second set and seven errors on 50 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .220.

In the third set, OLLU recorded 12 kills and two errors on 39 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .256.

The Saints had 13 kills in the fourth set and five errors on 32 total attacks for a hitting percentage of .250.

On the offense
Overall, the Saints had 51 kills for a hitting percentage of .215. Jarvis totaled 45 kills for a hitting percentage of .130.

Dorsey led the Saints with 26 kills. Jai Johnson had a team-high 10 kills for the Bulldogs.

Reynard assisted on 40 plays for the Saints while Morin tallied 23 assists for Jarvis.

Defensive standouts
OLLU had a total of 59 digs, led by Trevino with 19. Kaia Brooks tallied 17 digs for the Bulldogs.

Serving it up
Five different players had one ace each for the Saints. Amariah Kendrick had three aces for the Bulldogs.

What’s next
The Saints are the No. 1 seed in the RRAC Postseason Tournament. They will face the winner of Louisiana Christian University and Jarvis Christian University on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in New Orleans.

Saints men capture eighth straight RRAC cross-country conference championship

The men’s cross-country team has won its eighth consecutive Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Cross-Country Championship. The event took place Friday morning at the Culebra Creek Park in San Antonio.

The men’s team marked 24 points to win the 8k. The Saints were followed by Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) with 44 points, Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) wuth 81 points, Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) with 93 points, the University of the Southwest (USW) with 150 points and Jarvis Christian University (JCU) with 152 points.

Jose Zarate finished in second place for the Saints with a time of 25:28.4. Diego Moran came in fourth place with a time of 26:28.1. Jayden Turrubiates marked 26:36.2 for fifth place. Kruz Malesich came in sixth place with a time of 26:49.6. Hendrick Ramirez finished in seventh place with a time of 26:57.3. JoseCarlos Hernandez came in eighth place with a time of 27:10.6, followed by Jose Saucedo for ninth place with a time of 27:13.0. All seven were named to the All-Conference Team.

Other Saints finishers include: Sebastian Moreno – 27:31.6 and Robert Rios – 29:03.2.

Jayden Turrubiates was named Freshmen of the Year, and Head Coach Patrick Torres received Coach of the Year honors. 

What’s next
The Saints won the last seven titles dating back to 2015. The team will now prepare for the NAIA’s 67th Annual Men’s Cross-Country National Championship that will take place Nov. 18 in Tallahassee, Fla.

Saints women win eighth RRAC cross-country championship

The women’s cross-country team has won its eighth Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Cross-Country Championships. The event took place Friday morning at the Culebra Creek Park in San Antonio.

The women’s team marked 29 points to win the 5k. The Saints were followed by Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) with 43 points, Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) with 94 points, Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) with 104 points, the University of the Southwest (USW) with 128 points and Jarvis Christian University (JCU) with 139 points.

Nadia Sifuentes captured her second consecutive Individual Medalist Award with a time of 19:00.8. Deandra Ibarra came in third place with a time of 19:10.9. Viridiana Zuniga finished in sixth place with a time of 20:03.4. Mia Curiel came in ninth place with a time of 20:33.4. Sierra Ramirez placed 10th with a time of 20:41.1. All five received All-Conference honors.

Other finishers were Robbie Sue Espericueta, who placed 11th with a time of 20:45.9. Kennedy Villalpando came in 12th place with a time of 20:50.2. Liliana Hernandez finished in 14th place with a time of 21:44.9 and Lindsey Broussard came in 15th place with a time of 21:49.5.

Deandra Ibarra was named Freshmen of the Year, and Head Coach Patrick Torres received Coach of the Year honors.  

The women’s team first won the conference meet in 2013 and repeated in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2018, the University of the Southwest captured the women’s title, with the Saints as runners-up. The Saints returned in 2019 to win and proceeded to capture the title in 2020 and 2021.

Seniors ceremony
After the event and awards ceremony, the university honored seniors Lindsey Broussard, Robbie Sue Espericueta and Nadia Sifuentes, as well as track and field’s Lauren Perry. Each talked about their plans and memories of their time at OLLU.

What’s next
The team will now prepare for the NAIA’s 48th Annual Women’s Cross-Country National Championship that will take place Nov. 18 in Tallahassee, Fla.

Men’s basketball downs TWU in epic quadruple-overtime game

The men’s basketball team won a quadruple overtime thriller 119-117 over Texas Wesleyan University (TWU) on Saturday night. The Saints move to 1-1 on the season while the Rams fall to 1-1. The four overtime periods marked the longest game in OLLU men’s basketball history.

Head Coach Chris Dial commented, “This was a fun game to compete in. Both teams played their hearts out. We try to seek this game out every year because it’s always a great game. We have some great players, and we were fortunate to come out with the win.”

History
The Saints were 6-6 against the Rams prior to the game.

Basics
The Saints won a nail-biting game against the Lions that took four overtimes to declare a winner. OLLU led at halftime 34-31 behind 43.3 percent shooting from the field. The Saints forced nine turnovers by Texas Wesleyan in the first frame and Ellis Jones had nine points.

The second half had multiple lead changes and led to overtime after a thrilling end to regulation. Ruben Monzon made a free throw to tie the game at 74-74 with 28 seconds remaining. The Rams had a chance to win the game with one second remaining but missed a layup.

The Saints took a three-point lead halfway through the first overtime period. The Rams battled back to tie the game with 19 seconds left. Texas Wesleyan missed a potential go ahead free throw with 16 seconds on the clock and the game ended up heading to a second overtime.

OLLU had another chance to put away the game after leading by four points in the second overtime. The Rams came back yet again to tie the game with under a minute remaining. The Saints were down by two points with under 10 seconds remaining when Tommie Law made a clutch layup. The Rams then missed a jump shot to send the contest to the third overtime.

The third overtime followed the same storyline as the previous periods. OLLU jumped out to an early four-point lead but were unable to sustain it. Rob Gill made two free throws for the Saints late in the period to give the Saints a 104-101 advantage. Akili Vining hit a buzzer beating three-point shot to extend the game to the fourth overtime.

The thrilling game finally came to an end in the fourth overtime. The Saints led throughout the entire frame and won 119-117. Monzon finished with a double-double and four other Saints posted double-digit points.

Offensive/defensive standouts
Gill led the Saints with 25 points. Monzon tallied a team-high 13 rebounds. Monzon also led the Saints with seven assists.

Vining led TWU with 28 points. Lamine Komara grabbed 13 rebounds along with 22 points for a double-double. Peyton Sallee led the team with five assists.

Inside the box
OLLU combined for 41-of-79 shooting for 51.9 percent, 9-of-20 from three-point range for 45 percent and 28-of-44 from the free-throw line for 63.6 percent. TWU shot 42-of-87 for 48.3 percent, 7-of-25 three pointers for 28 percent and 26-of-40 from the free-throw line for 65 percent.

The Saints grabbed 43 rebounds while TWU collected 49. OLLU forced 20 turnovers and committed 24.

Up next
The Saints travel to Goodwell, Okla., to play Oklahoma Panhandle State University on Friday at 6 p.m.

Women’s basketball wins pair of games at Halo Classic

The women’s basketball team won both games in the OLLU Halo Classic this weekend to begin the 2022-2023 season. The Saints defeated North American University (NAU) 89-41 on Friday and Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) 80-63 on Saturday.

OLLU vs. North American University (Nov. 4)
History
This was the first matchup between the two programs.

Basics
The Saints started the 2022-2023 season with a convincing win over NAU. The Saints shot 40 percent from the field in the first quarter and 50 percent in the second quarter. OLLU had a 49-16 lead heading into halftime and forced 14 turnovers by the Stallions.

OLLU continued to shoot well in the second half and four players finished with double digit points. The Saints limited the Stallions to under 30 percent shooting from both the field and from three-point range. Tiffany Lopez finished with a double-double to guide the Saints to an 89-41 win.

Offensive/defensive standouts
Lopez and Ariadna Gallardo led the Saints with 14 points each. Lopez tallied a team-high 10 rebounds. Natalia Trevino led the Saints with five assists.

Mia Monroe led NAU with 22 points. Monroe also led the team with a team-high eight rebounds. Three Stallions players had two assists each.

Inside the box
OLLU combined for 32-of-72 shooting for 44.4 percent, 4-of-18 from three-point range for 22.2 percent and 21-of-33 from the free-throw line for 63.6 percent. NAU shot 11-of-44 for 25 percent, 5-of-22 three pointers for 22.7 percent and 14-of-21 from the free-throw line for 66.7 percent.

The Saints grabbed 48 rebounds while NAU collected 24. OLLU forced 27 turnovers and committed eight.

OLLU vs. Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Nov. 5)
History
The Saints were 10-1 against the Lions prior to the game.

Basics
The Saints finished the Halo Classic with a win against SAGU. The first quarter was evenly played and tied 13-13 going into the second frame. OLLU’s offense improved with a few minutes before halftime, and they led 36-23 at the break. Cormia Lewis scored seven points in the second quarter and Lopez added two rebounds.

The Lions scored 21 points in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough to start a comeback as the Saints totaled 25. OLLU added 19 more points in the fourth quarter and won 80-63. Head Coach Tanya Ray and Assistant Coach Chris Burks earned their first wins as part of the Saints coaching staff.

Offensive/defensive standouts
Trevino led the Saints with 16 points. Lopez tallied a team-high 10 rebounds and added 15 points for another double-double. Trevino led the Saints with five assists.

Taylor Moravcik led SAGU with 20 points. Moravcik also grabbed 14 rebounds to earn a double-double. Wendy Clemmons led the team with three assists.

Inside the box
OLLU combined for 28-of-70 shooting for 40 percent, 7-of-23 from three-point range for 30.4 percent and 17-of-26 from the free-throw line for 65.4 percent. SAGU shot 23-of-49 for 46.9 percent, 3-of-18 three pointers for 16.7 percent and 14-of-20 from the free-throw line for 70 percent.

The Saints grabbed 34 rebounds while SAGU collected 39. OLLU forced 26 turnovers and committed 11.

Up next
The Saints play an exhibition at the University of the Incarnate Word today at 5:30 p.m.

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