NEW ORLEANS – Stephanie Tobison delivered a team-high 14 kills and three other Colonels joined her in double figures as the Nicholls State University volleyball team earned its first Southland Conference victory of the season with a 3-2 (16-25, 25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 15-10) triumph over rival New Orleans on Tuesday night.
The win improved Nicholls’ record to 6-18 overall and 1-7 in Southland play. New Orleans slipped to 4-17 and 1-7 in the SLC.
While Tobison was the statistical leader for the Colonel attack, it was an all-around team effort that led to the win over UNO. Kali Schwartz, Sydney Lerille and Kaci Eaton each finished with 12 kills, and Emily Weimer added eight as the five players combined for all but one kill.
The Colonels outhit UNO on the night, .243 to .218, helped by a staggering .667 clip from Lerille. The Raceland native delivered on 12 of her 18 attempts and had zero errors in the win.
After falling in the first set, Nicholls battled back to take the second. Lerille had back-to-back kills to double the Colonels’ lead at 12-6, forcing a UNO timeout. The Colonels then saw their largest advantage at 19-12 following a kill by Tobison before going on to even the match with a 25-21 win.
Set 3 was close throughout as neither team led by more than three points. But with the scored tied at 25, Lucija Barac set up Tobison on two straight kills to put Nicholls ahead, 2-1.
Nicholls could not close out in the fourth, falling 25-20 to force a final set. In the fifth set, two kills each by Schwartz and Tobison broke a 5-all tie to give Nicholls a 10-5 advantage. The Privateers came within two by scoring the match’s next three points, but a kill by Tobison sealed the win for the Colonels at 15-10.
Jade Piper led the Red and Gray with 29 assists, while Barac dished out 17 and had a team-high three aces. Barac upped her ace total to 28 on the year as she headed into the match ranked third in the Southland. Defensively, Alexa Perry recorded 22 digs and Schwartz had a double-double with 18.
The Colonels will play their next four matches at home, starting Thursday against Lamar. First serve at Stopher Gym is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.