Sept. 21, 2013
THIBODAUX, La. – Chelsea Grant racked up a career-high 11 kills to go along with eight blocks on Saturday to help the Lamar volleyball team to its first Southland Conference victory of the year with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) decision over Nicholls at Stopher Gym.
“I think this is the most dominant performance Chelsea’s had since she’s been here,” head coach Justin Gibert said. “She had some big blocks and was just an intimidating presence at the net, which helped open things up for the rest of the team. I don’t think we would’ve won today without her.”
With the victory, Lamar improved to 1-2 in SLC play and 3-11 overall. Nicholls dropped to 0-2 and 3-9, respectively.
“I thought it was a good match for us,” Gibert said. “We came out really strong, and we were able to set the tempo early. We really gave their offense some trouble with our block, but we also slowed down a bit on offense for a while. Overall though, I thought we played well.”
Grant wasn’t the only middle to have success for the Lady Cardinals on Saturday as Cortney Moore tallied seven kills at an impressive .462 rate. Outside hitters Madi Martin and Sierra Whittaker also had some success, combining for 12 kills, and as a team, LU out-hit the Colonels .163 to .069.
Alexa Johnson quarterbacked the offense for LU and finished the game with 30 assists. She also added four blocks.
and Megan Schwartz
led the team in digs with 16 and 12, respectively.
After holding off the Colonels in the opening frame, the Lady Cardinals faced another late charge from the hosts in the second, cutting the deficit to two at 20-18 on a Mikayla Miller kill. An errant serve by Kayla Burling gave the Red and White a late three-point edge, but Kali Schwarz moved Nicholls within two again with a kill. A Martin kill and Lauren Stahlman ace down the stretch proved to be insurmountable as LU went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
The third set was tight as well, but it looked as if a string of four consecutive Nicholls attack errors and a Moore kill gave all the momentum to Lamar at 17-13. However, the Colonels fought back, tying it up at 19-19 on a Kayla Mashburn kill. Martin registered a kill to put LU back ahead, and back-to-back Burling kills established some breathing room. Mashburn cut it back to one with a kill, but Moore and Whittaker closed out the set with consecutive kills of their own to secure the sweep.
Lamar will return to action next week with home meetings against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist.