Oct. 12, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – Sierra Whittaker became just the 18th player in school history to register 1,000 career kills on Saturday as the Lamar volleyball team beat Incarnate Word 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-17) at the McDermott Center.
Whittaker, who ended the day with 12 kills with an eye-popping .500 attack percentage, now has 1,006 for her career, and she became the first Lady Cardinal to accomplish the feat in the 25-point rally scoring era. Molli Abel was the last LU player to join the statistical club, doing so in the 2007 season.
“Sierra’s been a big part of our program, and it’s great to see her reach that kind of milestone,” head coach Justin Gibert said. “She’s a big piece of the puzzle for us this year, and she played great today. I look for her to continue to lead our offense down the stretch.”
With the win, Lamar improved to 6-14 on the year and 4-4 in Southland play. UIW dropped to 8-9 and 3-5, respectively.
“It’s nice to sweep for the second straight match, and it was really a team effort today,” Gibert explained. “We’ve been playing well at times this season, but coming up short on the scoreboard so it’s great to see this kind of effort rewarded. It feels like we’re picking up some momentum, and now we need to carry it into next week.”
Whittaker was hardly the only strong offensive performer today as LU out-hit UIW .290 to .036 on the day. Chelsea Grant picked up eight kills at a .538 clip, and Megan Schwartz and Cortney Moore combined for another 13.
had one of her best matches this year, hitting .625 with five kills to go along with 30 assists.
Defensively, Moore led the charge with five blocks, including three of the solo variety. Grant added four. Erika Rojas posted a match-best 16 digs, and Schwartz picked up 12.
The match’s closest set was the opener, but the Lady Cards proved their mettle late, holding on for a 25-22 victory. Moore had a trio of kills in the frame, but was as big a force defensively with four blocks. Perhaps no block was bigger than her last as the sophomore from Houston followed up a Madi Martin kill with a solo block to force set point at 24-21. UIW’s Brittani Dear ended the frame moments later with an attack error to hand LU its fourth consecutive set victory.
Following some early lead changes, LU put together one of its most impressive sets of the season in the second, out-hitting the hosts .438 to -.077 en route to a 25-13 victory. Whittaker got rolling in the frame for the Lady Cards, recording five kills on eight swings. Grant was equally impressive, registering three kills on five attempts and assisting on three blocks.
Whittaker kept it going in the third, hammering down four kills without an attack error as well as a service ace to lead the Lady Cards to a wire-to-wire 25-17 victory.
Lamar will return to action on Thursday as Southeastern Louisiana will make the trek to McDonald Gym. First serve is set for 7 p.m.