BEAUMONT – Up 2-0 at the break, all Lamar University volleyball needed was one more set win to lock a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament. But Incarnate Word flipped the switch at the intermission to down the hometown Cardinals 3-2 (25-21, 37-35, 20-25, 23-25, 11-15) at McDonald Gym in league action Saturday afternoon.
The loss Saturday and Southeastern Louisiana’s win over New Orleans eliminated the Cardinals from tournament contention.
The Cardinals tied the first set at 14-14 with a kill from Chelsea Grant, which started a quick four-point run by Lamar. With Grant serving, Amy Hollowell popped two kills and Hollowell and Tomar Thomas teamed up for a block to make it 17-14. Incarnate Word took a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Emily Waller put down two kills with Dannisha House pushing one through between them. Murielle Hlavac hit into a block to make it 18-17, but Madison Williams served one into the net to make it a two-point lead again.
House put up a block to make it 20-17, but hit into an error immediately after. She responded with a kill followed by ones from Williams and Grant. Hollowell and Parish put up a block that made it 23-19 when UIW called its second timeout.
Parish finished the match with seven blocks and Hollowell had nine, both were career highs.
Autumn Lockley cut it to 23-20 with a kill, but Hollowell responded with her own. Lockely put down another kill but Grant ended the set with a kill from Haley Morton.
The second set was a thriller, despite the Cardinals’ eight-point lead early. UIW eventually battled back to tie it at 20-20 and even took a 23-22 lead. From there, both teams went back-and-forth all the way into the 30s. Eventually Lamar pulled out the set with a block from Hollowell and an attack error by Incarnate Word’s Bryaunea Hall.
UIW jumped out to a big lead in the third set after the break to cut the match lead to 2-1 and rallied from a 17-10 deficit with an 8-2 run to gain control of the fourth.
Grant finished her career with 1,100 kills after she had 18 against Incarnate Word with a .222 attack mark. She served up one ace, four digs and a block. She’ll finish 18th all-time in the LU record books. Carlyn Stella came off the bench for a double-double, her second of the season, after 12 kills and 16 digs.
Both setters for Lamar had double-doubles in the contest as well, the first time each recorded one in a single match. Morton finished with 27 assists and 16 digs and Ashley Ellis had 25 assists and 14 digs. With Ellis’ match made her the 11th member of Lamar’s 2,000-assist club and first since Alex Morford jumped in during the 2012 season.
Parish finished her night with eight kills followed by seven each from Hollowell and Thomas.
As a team, Lamar hit for a .142 mark and had 63 kills, three aces and 15.5 blocks - it’s second-most since it had 16.0 against Southeastern Louisiana in the league opener. Incarnate Word had as many errors in the contest, but notched 72 kills and had a .186 hitting percentage.
Lockley claimed the match lead with 21 kills and was trailed by 18 from Hall. Sierra Moses had the lead with 32 assists and Williams had 28. Lockley tied Claudia Hernandez with 20 digs.