Sept. 24, 2011
BEAUMONT - Nicholls' 13-match volleyball winning streak came to an abrupt end Saturday afternoon at McDonald Gym as Lamar University used a powerful offensive attack to pick up a 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-20) Southland Conference victory.
Lamar has now won its last three matches and stands at 4-13 on the year and 2-0 in Southland play. Nicholls, which opened its conference season with a 3-2 win at McNeese State on Thursday, fell to 14-4 overall and 1-1 in league play.
"It's good to get off to a 2-0 start in conference play," said LU head coach Justin Gibert. "We believed we had more offensive capabilities than Nicholls, and that if we took care of the first ball touches we would be too hard to stop.
"We did just that, getting the ball to (setter) Alex (Morford) in good position where she had a lot of choices offensively. It's hard for a team to beat us when we outhit them by so wide a margin."
The match opened with close play in the first set as the two teams traded points. With the score tied at 17, LU outside hitter Sierra Whittaker hammered down one of her 12 kills to ignite a 5-0 run and give the Lady Cardinals a 22-17 lead.
Nicholls, which hit just .146 in the first set, would score only one more point as Lamar earned a 25-18 victory in set one. The Lady Cardinals finished the set with a healthy .405 attack percentage as a team.
The Colonels regrouped and jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the second set. A Christina Hobbs kill stopped the bleeding for Lamar and gave the Lady Cardinals the ball back trailing 9-6. LU would go on to score 10 of the next 12 points to open a 16-11 lead before closing the set 25-22 on a Wendy Krell kill.
had five of her eight kills in the second set, while Krell added four of her season-high 16.
Krell continued her strong play in the third set, notching six kills in leading Lamar to a 25-20 match-clinching victory. The junior middle blocker had just three attack errors on the match, hitting .565 while adding a pair of blocks.
Not only was Lamar dominant on offense, but the Lady Cards did a good job of scrapping to keep balls alive. Led by Angel Colyar's 19 digs, Lamar limited the visitors to a .175 attack percentage. LU finished with a .325 attack percentage as a team.
Sophomore Megan McStravick also had a big match for Lamar, posting 10 kills and a .529 attack percentage. Morford handed out 47 assists for Lamar, adding a pair of service aces and a pair of block assists.
Kathryn Stock and Jessica Addicks each had nine kills for Nicholls. The Colonels trailed Lamar 51-33 in kills for the match. Rachel Yezak added 12 digs.
Lamar will put its winning streak on the line Thursday night at 6:30 as the Lady Cardinals continue Southland play at Texas State.