BEAUMONT – Sam Houston State had an efficient match offensively, which helped it hand Lamar University volleyball a 3-0 loss (18-25, 25-22, 23-25, 18-25) at McDonald Gym - its third loss at home – Saturday afternoon in Southland Conference action.
The Bearkats (12-12, 6-5 Southland Conference) recorded 77 points in the match, 19.5 per set, on 56 kills (14.5/s), nine service aces and 10 team blocks. On the flip side, the Cardinals (5-19, 5-7) earned 66 points (16.5/s) on 56 kills (14/s), one service ace and nine team blocks.
Five of SHSU’s nine service aces were recorded in the final fourth set, including the final point of the match.
The loss puts the Cardinals in a three-way tie for the final three spots into the Southland Conference Tournament, with four matches left to play. The Cards lost to two of the teams it is tied with, McNeese and Southeastern La., and downed Central Arkansas.
Sam Houston State took set one on an impressive run that took a 19-18 tight game and blew it open. The final six points for Kats were made of five kills and a block. Three kills were from Amanda Gooch and Jordyn Vaughn and Sarah Sherman each notched one, while Sherman and Gooch teamed for the block at the end.
Lamar started that set out with a 9-5 lead after Vaughn hit into an attack error. After Bearkat-called timeout, they worked it back for a 10-10 tie and 12-10 lead, largely made of a six-point run. Both of the big runs for Sam Houston were with Brooke White serving from the endline.
After LU closed it to 13-12, neither team would hold a lead larger than one point until Sam’s run to end it.
Somewhat opposite of the first set, Sam Houston gained a sizable lead but couldn’t hold it and surrendered the set. The Bearkats jumped out to a 7-2 advantage, which was aided by another four-point run with White at the endline. During that run, she aced two Cardinals.
A LU timeout helped end the run, and Amy Hollowell answered the call with a kill. Back-to-back kills from Vaughn and Hollowell made it 8-4, Sam Houston. Hollowell recorded her second-straight kill, but a service error made kept the deficit at four. From there, Carlyn Stella, twice, and Tomar Thomas had kills and Thomas and House teamed for a block to make it 9-9, when SHSU called a timeout.
Down 17-15, Lamar used another run to make it 19-17; Sam Houston would cut it to 22-21 with consecutive kills from Sherman, but kills from Hollowell and Thomas ended the set for a tie game at intermission.
The third set saw a huge 20-13 lead for Sam Houston, but Lamar answered with a six-point run to cut the deficit to one. Gooch sparked the run with a ball handling error. Three-straight kills from Stella made it 20-18 and Dannisha House polished it off with a kill of her own.
Big Red was eventually able to tie the set with a kill from Chelsea Grant that made it 21-21, but kills from Vaughn and Sherman and a block from Sherman and Gooch helped finish it.
Chelsea Grant led the Cardinals with a 15-kill match, which netted her the 12th-straight double-figure kill contest. She was joined with 10 or more by Hollowell (12) and Stella (11). Hollowell picked up a double-double on 12 digs as well, her fourth of the season.
Haley Morton earned her seventh double-double in 10 matches with 26 assists and 13 digs. Big Red went with the 6-2 system again and Ashley Ellis recorded 25 assists.
White, who finished the match with six aces, led the match on 16 kills. Vaughn had 12 followed by Sherman’s 10 and Gooch’s 11. Michelle Griffith had 47 assists and Claire Kilpatrick had 21 digs.
The Cardinals return to the floor to wrap up their three-match home stand Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they host nearby Houston Baptist.
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