MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Faulkner needed a string of wins to close its Southern States Athletic Conference season in order to earn a spot in the league tournament. That win streak needed to begin Tuesday evening against division rival Mobile at Tine Davis Gym, but the visitors had other plans. The Lady Rams secured the win in straight sets 25-22, 25-18, 25-20.
"This was a big loss for us," said head coach Tori Bartels. "It was a massive blow to the team and especially our seniors. It's the first time we've been eliminated from post season action since I've been at the university and it's tough knowing the date and time of our final game with four still to play."
Mobile edged Faulkner in the opener, but the home team struck back hard and fast in the second set. The Lady Eagles had Mobile on the ropes with a commanding 11-3 lead, but the Lady Rams sparked a 14-6 run to put the match at 17-17. Mobile's defense allowed only one more point after the tie and cruised to it's largest margin win of the night.
The final set was a back and forth battle until the score broke into the 20's and Faulkner failed to keep pace.
"We were stronger at the net defensively," Bartels added, "but that didn't stop them from scoring. Overall, we just didn't play well enough to get the win and Mobile took care of business."
The Lady Rams hit .204 as a unit despite being out-blocked eight to two. Faulkner, meanwhile, was only able to tally a .030 team hitting percentage.
Faulkner had four hitters in the negative including two of its biggest weapons.
Shelby Woods had six kills and hit .235 on the night and was the most effective offensive threat against Mobile.
Ashley Towers followed with five kills and had a pair of blocks.
Senior Jessica Long had four total blocks and logged three kills.
Faulkner drops to 18-14 overall and 2-10 in the SSAC. The Lady Eagles will travel to New Orleans, La., on Thursday to take on division foe Loyola at 7 p.m.