Lamar opens SLC play with 3-1 win over Southeastern La.

GO CARDINALS <strong>Sierra Whittaker finished with 18 kills against the Lions</strong>
Sierra Whittaker finished with 18 kills against the Lions

Sept. 22, 2011

Box Score |  SELA vs. LAMAR VBALL 

BEAUMONT - Sophomore outside hitter Sierra Whittaker pounded down a career-high 18 kills Thursday night at McDonald Gym as Lamar University opened its Southland Conference volleyball season with a 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18) victory over Southeastern Louisiana.

The Lady Cardinals, who have now won two matches in a row, improved to 3-13 overall. Lamar is 23-3 all-time against Southeastern Louisiana which fell to 4-14 on the year and 0-1 in Southland play. Nicholls will visit McDonald Gym on Saturday afternoon at 1 in the Lady Cards' next match.

"We struggled in non-conference play because we could never build any momentum," said LU head coach Justin Gibert. "We knew what kind of talent we had and we just continued believing in ourselves. As a team, we believe we can get it done and still make a lot of noise in the conference race."

Not only did Whittaker record a career-high in kills, but she did so with an amazing .552 attack percentage. Her 18 kills came on only 29 total attacks with two errors.

"She was phenomenal tonight," Gibert said about Whittaker. "She is the spark to our team, and she was so incredibly good tonight. She does a great job adjusting to sets that aren't necessarily great, and she does a phenomenal job with whatever you give her."

Lamar opened the match with a strong first set, building an 18-13 lead that SLU could not overcome. The Lions, trailing 24-19, got the ball back on a Wendy Krell attack error, but Courtney Donald served the ball into the net to give LU the win at 25-19.

For the set, LU attacked at a .306 percentage while limiting the Lions to a paltry .189 attack percentage.

After SLU evened the match with a 25-18 win in set two, Lamar found itself in an early 11-9 hole in set three. However, Lamar pulled even at 12 on a Cynthia McCollum kill, and then outscored SLU 13-8 the rest of the way to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Lamar had its best offensive set in the set three, attacking at a .481 percentage.

The Lady Cardinals would close the match with a 25-18 win in the fourth set. Despite hitting just .091 in the last set, Lamar used its blocking and tough serving to pick up the win.

For the match, Lamar finished with a 53-47 advantage in kills and attacked at a higher percentage. Lamar also enjoyed an 8-4 advantage in service aces and an 8-3 advantage in total blocks.

Junior middle blocker Wendy Krell chipped in with 11 kills for Lamar, and has now posted back-to-back matches with at least 10 kills. Junior libero Angel Colyar led all players with 19 digs.

Setter Alex Morford also had a big match for the Lady Cardinals. The junior posted five kills, handed out 44 assists and picked up nine digs while directing an efficient offense.

Donald led the Lions with 15 kills, while Kinsey Williams added 11 and Paige Dollison finished with eight. Megan McMillin had a team-high 12 digs for SLU.




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