BEAUMONT, Texas – The Lamar University women’s volleyball team gave proof to the old adage “There’s no place like home,” as they rolled to a straight-set victory over the Prairie View A&M Panthers in LU’s home opener on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals (2-8), who were forced to cancel the Cardinal Classic earlier this month because of Hurricane Harvey, dominated the Panthers from the beginning as they snapped a seven-match losing streak. The Cardinals scored the first five points of the match and rolled to a 25-7, 25-21, 25-10 win much to the delight of the raucous crowd of 454 shoehorned into McDonald Gym.
“We love playing here,” LU coach Alan Edwards said of McDonald Gym. “It’s definitely a home-court advantage for us. Our fans are loud and right on top of the action. It can definitely be intimidating for opponents.”
The Cardinals posted an impressive .282 attack percentage against the Panthers (0-4). LU had 31 kills and just nine errors on 78 attempts. The Cardinals were also more accurate with their serves, with eight aces against just three service errors.
“We cut down on our mistakes and that was a big difference,” Edwards said. “We have to play a cleaner game than what we have been. Tonight was a step in the right direction. We didn’t make unforced errors.”
Tomar Thomas had 10 kills against only two errors on 16 attempts for LU, while Dannisha House had seven kills and no errors on 12 attack attempts. Thomas also had four aces for the Cardinals.
Kaitlyn Nutt had 13 digs in the win, while Amy Hollowell added 10 digs. Setter Molly Shade had 25 of LU’s 28 assists.
Taylor Goudeau had 10 of the 22 kills credited to Prairie View A&M. The Panthers were charged with 6 attack errors on 89 attempts, as they finished the evening with a minus .045 attack percentage.
“Our middle blockers did a great job tonight,” Edwards said. “I was very impressed with our defense.”
The Cardinals remain home for a pair of Southland Conference matches to open the SLC schedule. Northwestern State comes to town at 7 p.m. Thursday before Central Arkansas pays a visit at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“Northwestern State does some good things,” Edwards said. “We’ll look at some more film and get ready for them on Wednesday. We’ll prepare for Central Arkansas on Friday.”
Thursday is ‘80s Throwback Night, with 1980s-themed trivia throughout the match. In addition, fans will receive free aviator sunglasses and pizza while supplies last. Saturday is Scout Day, with all Girls Scouts in uniform receiving free admission. Troop leaders will receive a discounted ticket price of $3. In addition, there will be a chalk talk with LU coach Alan Edwards at noon.