DENTON, Texas - A pair of freshmen made their collegiate debut on Saturday morning against Prairie View A&M, helping the Lamar volleyball team to its first win of the season prior to falling in the evening match to the host Mean Green in the second day of play at the North Texas Invitational in Denton, Texas.
"It was good to pick up our first win," head coach Justin Gibert said. "It's been a struggle without some of our starters this weekend, so that was a nice boost. Against North Texas, we just gave up some runs, and I think that's something that we can fix when we get back home next week. I feel like we're getting better, and I like the fight we had down the stretch. That will serve us well next week."
Freshman Cortney Moore, who was celebrating her 18th birthday on Saturday, got things going in the early match, tallying 12 kills and six blocks, including four of the solo variety, to lead the Lady Cards to the 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 28-26, 25-23) victory over PVAMU.
The Lady Cards also got double-digit kills from Sierra Whittaker with 10 to go along with four service aces.
Madi Martin orchestrated the offense with 33 assists and 10 digs to post her first double-double of the season, and Erika Rojas tallied the team high with 11 digs.
After dropping the first set to the Lady Panthers, Lamar rode a five-point run in the middle of the frame to grab control at 20-13, and Whittaker helped put the set out of reach down the stretch with a kill and a pair of aces.
The two sides engaged in a dramatic third frame after PVAMU battled back late to force a set point at 26-25, but Krell wouldn't relent, racking up two kills and combining with Martin for a block to win 28-26.
Rebekah Rightnour, who was also making her LU debut, helped key a big 8-1 run in the fourth frame with a pair of kills to give the Lady Cards a 16-8 advantage. However, as was the case for much of the morning, the Lady Panthers charged back, eventually pulling within one at 23-22, but an attack error and a Krell kill sealed the deal to give Lamar it's first win of the year.
In the evening match, Whittaker led the way with nine kills, and both Krell and Tiffany Hunnicutt added six, but the Mean Green proved better, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17).
Defensively, Megan Schwartz led the way with seven digs, earning a spot on the All-Tournament squad following the match. Martin was second on the team with five digs and posted the team high in assists with 23.
The Lady Cards will return to action on Tuesday when they open the McDonald Gym home slate with a match against New Orleans.