Aug. 29, 2014
HOUSTON – The Lamar women’s volleyball team showed a flair for the dramatic on Friday as they went down to the wire with former conference foe Texas State in the 2014 season opener at the Houston Cougar Classic at the Athletics/Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Houston.
After being dealt a tough start to the opening set, the Lady Cards stormed back to win it, and then each of the ensuing three frames would be decided by just two points before the Bobcats put together an efficient deciding fifth set to win 3-2 (27-25, 28-30, 25-23, 23-25, 9-15). In the afternoon match, LU fell 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 26-24) to host Houston.
It was an inauspicious start to the Alan Edwards era as the Lady Cards fell behind 13-6 in the early goings before three Autumn Taylor kills paced a 5-1 run to cut the deficit to three at 14-11. Moments later, five Bobcat errors over a span of six points allowed LU to tie it up at 17-17. The two sides would tie four more times before the Red and White took their first lead of the match since 1-0 on a Chelsea Grant and Carlyn Stella block.
Taylor ended with a match-best 21 kills and 11 digs for her first career double-double.
Texas State would be the first team to grab set point, but Stella was involved in back-to-back blocks to flip the advantage at 25-24. Nicole Parish
followed up a Bobcat kill with one of her own, and an Alexandra Simms attack error closed out the frame.
Parish ended the match with a team-best 18 digs, while Erika Rojas and Ashley Ellis chipped in 15 and 12, respectively. Ellis was also tasked with running the offense, and put up a match-best 49 assists.
The second stanza began with an early Texas State advantage once again, but it would be a back-and-forth affair as the teams would were tied 16 times. LU was the first side to see a set point, but after back-to-back Bobcat kills, the Lady Cards were put on the back foot and fought off four set points before Ali Gonzales notched a kill for the Bobcats and assisted another to even up the match.
In the third set, it was LU’s turn to fight back a comeback as Taylor and Moore helped the Lady Cards grab a seemingly safe 19-12 lead. Texas State cut the deficit to three twice before kills from Moore and Parish made it a 24-19 advantage for the Red and White. The Bobcats responded with four straight points to put the set’s result in question, but Moore responded with a kill to quell the rally.
After a slower start to the match, the middle blocker duo of Moore and Grant came into their own as it progressed. Moore hit .500 with 17 kills and three blocks, and Grant picked up eight kills and a match-best nine blocks.
The fourth set saw LU out-hit Texas State .270 to .167, but errors caught up with the Lady Cards as the school out of San Marcos held on for a 25-23 win to force a deciding frame, where the Bobcats would hit a scorching .500 from the field to hand LU its first loss of the year.
In the day’s second match, Houston took the opening two sets in 25-18 fashion before LU would storm back for a dramatic third. Unfortunately for LU, it came up fruitless as UH bounced back from a set point with three straight points to win 26-24.
Moore once again had another strong showing, hitting .438 with 8 kills, and the duo of Taylor and Grant combined for another 17. However, as a team, UH registered 22 more kills and out-hit the Lady Cards .263 to .155.
LU will return to action on Saturday against Wake Forest. First serve at UH’s Athletics/Alumni Center is scheduled for 1 p.m.