Sept. 19, 2012
BEAUMONT – The Lamar volleyball team didn’t open the season the way it had planned with a loss on the road at Nicholls last week, but after fighting back from an 0-2 deficit to beat Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, the Lady Cards will be looking to keep the momentum rolling this week when they host Northwestern State on Thursday and Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
“It’ll be great to get back in front of a home crowd,” head coach Justin Gibert said. “We’ve been dealing with a lack of experience early with three freshmen out there on the court for much of this season. We’ve really had a lot of maturity on this team pinned on the sidelines due to injury, so we’re going to focus on improving our play and ironing out a few things. We’ve controlled some matches and lost. That gets better with maturity.”
Lamar is 9-7 this season.
Northwestern State enters play on Thursday amid the strongest start in school history, racking up nine wins in the first 14 matches with a 1-1 mark in Southland play. After dropping the conference opener at Stephen F. Austin earlier this month, they rebounded on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
However, there will be some momentum on the Lamar side as the Lady Cards have taken home victories in each of the last 10 meetings, including a pair of 3-1 wins last season. The last Demon win in the series came in five sets at McDonald Gym in October of 2005. LU is 23-5 all-time vs. NSU and 12-3 in Beaumont.
The match also marks the first SLC home match for the Lady Cards, and since Gibert grabbed the reigns of the LU program in 2005, he holds a perfect 7-0 record in the matches.
Behind 13 kills at a .522 rate and four blocks from Christina Hobbs last season, Lamar picked up its first win over SFA since 2008. The Ladyjacks will be looking to get back on track this year as they enter play this week with an 11-3 mark and a perfect 2-0 SLC record. McNeese will play host to the visitors from Nacogdoches on Thursday evening.
Overall the series is tied with each side picking up exactly 22 victories, but the Lady Cards hold the edge at home with a 13-9 advantage.
First serve on Thursday vs. NSU is set for 7 p.m., and SFA and LU will meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday.