Aug. 18, 2012
BEAUMONT - The absence of expected starter Cynthia McCollum didn't seem to slow down the Lamar attack on Saturday evening as Wendy Krell and Sierra Whittaker combined for 30 kills en route to a 5-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21, 15-12) victory in the annual alumni match at McDonald Gym.
"I thought we performed pretty well for our first time out," head coach Justin Gibert said. "Wendy is a big force in the middle offensively, and Sierra just has a big arm that is good for a lot of points. That's why they're preseason all-conference. I'm pleased with both of their performances."
Madi Martin played the role of facilitator for much of the match, tallying 38 assists to go along with six kills. Alex Morford recorded 13 helpers over the course of one set, and the duo combined to lead a Lady Card offense that hit .291 for the match.
"Madi played really well," Gibert said. "I think she was able to get the ball out to all the hitters. She delivered a really good ball, and she's a huge blocking presence at the net. She's just not as experienced as Alex, who runs a quicker offense with a better tempo. They have different styles, but they were both effective today."
Kensey Camp and a trio of freshmen were the beneficiaries of the dynamic offense as Camp picked up nine kills. Cortney Moore led the newcomers with six at a .462 rate. Tiffany Hunnicutt and Chelsea Grant chipped in five and three kills, respectively.
Defensively, Erika Rojas
led LU with 15 digs. Camp and Megan Schwartz
both added 12, and Whittaker posted 11.
At the net, Moore and Krell each had three block assists to lead the Lady Cards.
Prior to the match, the LU volleyball program hosted a luncheon for the returning players at Café del Rio. The group included Ruby Randolph (1981-85), who ranks second in school history with 1,749 career kills, Shanda Hart (1999-02), second all-time in digs with 1,591, and Adrianne Meengs (2006-09), fifth all-time in assists with 3,287.
The Lady Cardinals will begin their season Friday with a trip up to Denton to play in the North Texas Invitational.