Despite a 10 kill outing from Megan Kunkel, a season-best 14.0 team blocks and a first set victory Southeastern was unable to hold onto momentum in a 3-1 road loss to East Central on Thursday night in Ada, Okla.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 1-9 on the year and 0-2 in Great American Conference play.
The loss was just the second ever to the Tigers in the admittedly short history of the rivalry on the volleyball court. SE still maintains a 7-2 advantage in the all-time series. Both losses have come in Ada.
Kunkel's 10 kills led the Storm, while Natasha Smith chipped in seven and madelynne Cera added six.
Cera finished the match with 24 assists from the setter spot and was busy on defense as well with a match-high 17 digs.
Taylor Benner was not far behind in back row defense with 15 digs, whiel Marina Dias added 11.
The Storm held its biggest advantage of the match in defense at the net with a 14.0-to-8.0 difference in team blocks. Jasmine Everage led that charge with eight blocks, while Smith added five and Emily Gentle chipped in four.
The Storm opened with a win in the first set behind offense from Cera and Smith who finished with four and three kills respectively. SE held off a late Tiger charge to take the set 25-23.
ECU picked up the pace in the second set and despite Kunkel picking up her offense to the tune of four kills in the set, the Tigers took the set 25-19 to even the match at 1-1.
The Storm looked to be regaining the momentum in the third set, moving to an early lead, but ECU rallied and after eight ties and four lead changes it would be the Tigers who would come out with a 2-1 lead in the match following a 25-19 set victory.
SE fell behind early in the fourth set and never found its footing en route to a 25-16 loss in the set that clinched the ECU win.