Lady Cards rout Southeastern Louisiana
Volleyball picks up third consecutive 3-0 victory
BEAUMONT – The offense was firing on all cylinders on Thursday night at McDonald Gym as the Lamar volleyball team routed visiting Southeastern Louisiana in 3-0 (25-8, 25-20, 25-22) fashion for a third straight victory.
With the win, LU improved to 7-14 on the year with a 6-4 conference mark. SLU dropped to 7-15 and 1-9, respectively.
Sierra Whittaker initiated the Lady Cardinals attack, registering half of her 10 kills in the first set, and finishing the night with a .385 attack percentage. However, Cortney Moore had an even better outing, recording a match-best 11 kills at a .474 rate, and Chelsea Grant was impressive as well, picking up seven kills to go along with seven blocks.
"Cortney and Sierra are the two staples of our team on offense," head coach Justin Gibert said. "They both really clicked tonight. Cortney is learning and still getting better, and I really liked Sierra's composure tonight. Chelsea is just a huge presence out there, and she's definitely one of the biggest blocks in the conference."
Alexa Johnson guided the offense, finishing with 27 assists and helping the Lady Cards out-hit the visitors from Hammond, La., .378 to .152.
Defensively, Erika Rojas controlled the floor with a match-best 11 digs, and Johnson was second on the team with seven.
LU set the tone early, putting up 15 kills without a single attack error in the opening stanza to out-hit the visitors from Hammond, La., .714 to .000 en route to a resounding 25-8 victory. Megan Schwartz picked up a pair of service aces to key a 9-1 run to kick off the frame, and the Lady Cards were never seriously challenged down the stretch.
Autumn Taylor, who entered the match for Schwartz in the second set, announced her presence impressively. The freshman out of Pearland hit .600 in the frame with three kills and three digs. The set was tight for much of the early goings, but a string of SLU errors, which featured a pair of Grant blocks, ultimately spelled doom for the Lions and extended a Lamar lead from 14-13 to 19-14 to put the game out of reach.
Taylor ended the night with six kills and five digs.
The Lady Cards never trailed in the third, but it proved to be the biggest test of the night as SLU fought back from an 11-2 deficit to tie the match up three times, including at 16-16 on a Landry Bullock kill.
Moore picked up a kill and Grant added a block and kill to establish some breathing room once more at 20-17. However, the Lions wouldn't go away, pulling within one at 22-21. Kensey Camp followed up a Taylor kill with a service ace to set up match point, and Madi Martin sounded the death knell moments later with a kill.
The Lady Cards will return to action on Saturday as New Orleans will come to town for the first time as a member of the Southland Conference. First serve is set for 1 p.m.