On a day when several alumni were in attendance, Emporia State hung up former Lady Hornet Ali Volkens’ jersey. Volkens led the Hornets to the 2010 national championship.
“I was really proud of Ali – (it’s) well deserved,” said Rachel Hanf, senior guard and marketing major, who was also on that championship team. “She’s a good player,”
But the Lady Hornets were not able to secure a win as they dropped their second game in a row to Northeastern State, 66-56, Feb. 23 after winning nine straight games.
“(There were) kids here who put work in (during their time at ESU) for a lot of years and a had lot of success – I was embarrassed,” said Jory Collins, head coach. “That’s not how you want to perform in front of those guys (alumni).”
As a team, the Lady Hornets shot just over 31 percent from deep and just barely over 44 percent from the field.
“It’s really frustrating when we are missing shots, but when we are missing shots, we need to get rebounds,” said Laura Patrick, junior forward and accounting major.
Patrick led the way with 14 points but had to take 16 shots to get there. She got things going early for the team as she scored five quick points to help take a 12-9 lead in the first six minutes.
The RiverHawks snatched the lead with over 10 minutes to go, and they carried that into the half with a 37-33 lead.
After a soft puncture in the deficit, the Lady Hornets found themselves within four points of the RiverHawks with seven minutes to go, but Taylor Lewis of the RiverHawks took back control of the game.
She nailed a three-pointer with over five minutes to go to extend their lead 60-44. She finished the game with 26 points.
“We had breakdowns, but she’s (Lewis) a shot maker,” Collins said. “She’s shooting 50 percent from the three-point line. We didn’t have anyone on our team to guard her.”
The Lady Hornets, who were in contention before this two-game skid for the conference championship, now have to win out.
“We are not in that race anymore,” Collins said. “We haven’t beat any good teams all year long. We just haven’t been very tough, and now we are going to have to win the tournament to play any post-season play.”
The ladies take on Pittsburg State at 1:30 p.m. March 2 on the Gorillas’ home turf.