LA Tech Olympic sports in full swing

Louisiana Tech men’s and women’s basketball have played a combined 39 games and are rounding the curve towards the Conference USA Tournament in Frisco, Texas come March.

Meanwhile, the Olympic sports have started to ramp up. Tennis is six matches into their spring season. Indoor track and field is racing for the finish lines. Then there is soccer and volleyball, two traditional fall sports, facing competition on the pitch and the court.

SOCCER: The Lady Techsters are beginning their stretch of seven consecutive road games in style. Tuesday night, they rolled east to Jackson, Miss., and put away Belhaven 3-0 after their 1-0 win Sunday out west in Denton against Texas Wesleyan.

Ruston High product Morgan Bean, a freshman, notched her first collegiate goal to double the lead in the first half at Belhaven.

Tuesday’s triumph ran LA Tech’s overall record to 4-2, 2-1 this spring after an opening home loss to a good Northwestern State team last week.

Tech has three matches in a five-day span, starting Friday at UT Tyler, followed by a Sunday contest at Nicholls and a Tuesday night visit to battle Spring Hill in Mobile.

TENNIS: After dropping its first two dual matches, LA Tech has reeled off four straight victories against Central Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin and two shutouts over Grambling State this past Sunday.

Shining for the Lady Techsters have been junior Anastasiia Salenko and sophomore Alexia Romero who are a combined 10-2 in singles.

“We are on a winning streak and I think confidence is the key to this team’s success this year,” said head coach Amanda Stone.

VOLLEYBALL: LA Tech is still in search of its first victory on the 2020-21 season after being swept by West Division preseason favorite Rice, 3-0, to start C-USA play.

The Lady Techsters showed progress in the third set of game No. 2, outhitting the Owls while recording a team-high 13 kills. The team cut Rice’s lead down to a single point late in the stanza before the host finished off the set, 25-21.

“We are still a work in progress in terms of finding our rhythm,” said head coach Amber McCray. “Once we started getting some huge defensive stops in the final set, we were able to consistently battle with them point-for-point. The way we competed then is the way we know we are capable of playing every rep of every match.”

TRACK & FIELD: LA Tech was back in Birmingham, Alabama this past weekend, taking part in the Jaguar Invitational where they posted 10 top-five finishes.

Leading the way for the Lady Techsters was Claudasha Watson who notched a personal best in the 60-meter dash finals with a time of 7.58 seconds, good for fifth place.

For the men, Seth Boullion had a strong running in the 400-meter dash with a third-place finish at a time of 49.15 seconds. The Bulldogs and Lady Techsters both took home third-place finishes in the 4x400m relay.

On the field, Leah Scott and Murphy Bavinga logged top-five placings in the triple jump while Rhea Thompson and Aliyah Ballott both finished in the top five in the women’s weight throw.

“We had several top-three performances and lifetime bests,” said veteran Tech coach Gary Stanley. “All in all, this was a good tune-up for the Conference USA Championships in two weeks.”

Photo: by Donny Crowe

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