Sept. 13, 2013
HUNTSVILLE – Sierra Whittaker made a return to the court on Friday evening, but the senior’s seven kills weren’t enough for the Lamar volleyball team to overcome Sam Houston State, falling 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-10) in the Southland Conference opener at Johnson Coliseum.
Whittaker, who hadn’t appeared in a match since opening weekend earlier this month, hit .300 for the day. The Lady Cardinals (1-9, 0-1 Southland) were led in scoring by Cortney Moore, who put up 10 kills and a solo block. Madi Martin and Nicole Parish combined for seven kills.
As a team, SHSU (3-5, 1-0 SLC) recorded 36 kills to LU’s 27, and the Lady Cards were out-hit .247 to .105.
Alexa Johnson led LU in assists with 15, and Megan Schwartz patrolled the back row with a match-high 17 digs. Erika Rojas joined her in the defensive effort, recording 13, and Lauren Stahlman added six.
LU’s best chance for a victory came in the first set, which featured 11 ties and seven lead changes. It looked as if the Lady Cards had the upper hand as Sara Landis kicked off a surge with a kill to put the Red and White up 14-13. Moore followed up with a block and kill, and Parish capped the run to set up a four-point advantage, the largest of the set for either side.
However, the Bearkats reeled off seven of the next eight points to grab the 20-18 edge. The Lady Cards cut the deficit to one four times down the stretch, but a Parish error and a Devene Wells-Gibson kill gave the hosts the 1-0 lead.
After dropping another tight set in the second, falling 25-20, SHSU hit .393 and never trailed in the third en route to 25-10 victory.
Lamar will return to action on Saturday at the SHSU Invitational, taking on Washington State and Jackson State.