Lady Cards set for Southland showdowns with McNeese State and Nicholls

GO CARDINALS <b>Madi Martin hit .600 vs. Jackson State.</b>
Madi Martin hit .600 vs. Jackson State.

Sept. 18, 2013

BEAUMONT - The Lamar volleyball program opened its conference season in Huntsville last Friday, and the road swing will continue into this week as the Lady Cardinals are set to take on nearby McNeese State on Thursday before heading off to Nicholls on Saturday.

Lamar (2-10), which dropped its conference opener at Sam Houston State a week ago, will be looking to build off a three-set victory over Jackson State this past Saturday, a win that snapped an seven-match losing skid.

The Last Meeting
McNeese State0
October 27, 2012
McDonald Gym
Lady Cards snap skid with 3-0 win over McNeese State
BEAUMONT - Cynthia McCollum made her long-awaited return to the volleyball floor on Saturday afternoon, and she made the best of it, leading Lamar to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-18) victory over McNeese State.

The Last Meeting
October 16, 2012
McDonald Gym
Volleyball falls to Nicholls in five-set heartbreaker
BEAUMONT - Freshman Cortney Moore had one of her best outings in a Lamar jersey on Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough as the Lady Cardinal volleyball team fell to Nicholls 3-2 (17-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-16, 10-15) at McDonald Gym.

A large part of that victory was Sierra Whittaker's return to the line-up. After missing much of the season's opening month due to injury, the senior out of Houston racked up 32 of the team's 97 kills over the weekend as well as four block assists in Saturday's win over the Tigers.

Whittaker has been outstanding over the last two seasons against this week's opponents. Against McNeese, she's tallied 47 kills, including a career-high 23 in a five-set thriller at McDonald Gym in 2011. The outside hitter's been even better vs. Nicholls, posting 63 kills over four matches at a .292 clip.

However, Whittaker won't be the only offensive option this weekend. Madi Martin has continued to adjust to the right side after playing setter for the last two seasons, and Saturday's win over Jackson State marked her best offensive outing of the year. The junior hit .600 with 10 kills and three blocks, building off an all-tournament showing two weeks ago at UTSA.

Cortney Moore has also been an effective weapon, posting a team-best 90 kills, averaging 2.43 per set, and fellow middle blockers Sara Landis and Chelsea Grant have also seen their fair share of playing time, combining for 64 kills and 49 blocks.

Freshmen outside hitters Nicole Parish and Cedar Young each average over a kill per set, and freshman setter Alexa Johnson has guided the offense for much of the year, averaging 7.63 assists.

Defensively, Megan Schwartz is expected to continue to hold down her libero role after earning all-tournament honors at SHSU. She currently leads the team in digs and digs per set at 169 and 4.22, respectively. Erika Rojas and Lauren Stahlman have combined for 142 in the other defensive specialist roles, and the duo of Martin and Johnson chips in more than two per frame as well.

McNeese enters Thursday with a 6-7 record after dropping a three-setter to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the SLC opener on Tuesday. Nicholls is 3-7 and will begin conference play on Thursday vs. Sam Houston.

First serve on Thursday is set for 7 p.m. at Memorial Gym in Lake Charles.




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