Volleyball set for showdown with Sam Houston

GO CARDINALS <b>Cortney Moore</b>
Cortney Moore

Oct. 4, 2013

BEAUMONT – After a pair of five-set thrillers last weekend and a non-conference loss earlier this week, the Lamar volleyball team will look to get back on track on Saturday afternoon as the Lady Cardinals will welcome Southland rival Sam Houston State to McDonald Gym.

The Lady Cards (4-13, 2-3 SLC) may have dropped a midweek meeting at Tulane, but head coach Justin Gibert was pleased with his team’s play last weekend, which included a five-set victory over Houston Baptist and a heart-breaking five-set loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders currently sit just one game back of the conference’s best record.

The Last Meeting
Sam Houston State3
September 13, 2013
Huntsville, Texas
Lady Cards drop match to Sam Houston State

HUNTSVILLE – Sierra Whittaker made a return to the court on Friday evening, but the senior’s seven kills weren’t enough for the Lamar volleyball team to overcome Sam Houston State, falling 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-10) in the Southland Conference opener at Johnson Coliseum.

“I think that we played with a lot of intensity last weekend,” Gibert said. “The Tulane match was a little disruptive, but we played great against Corpus. We need to bring that kind of intensity into this weekend, and I think we can. We weren’t particularly happy with how we played at Sam earlier this year, and I feel like that, along with how we played last week, will bring a lot of motivation into this match.”

That mentality will need to play a big role in Saturday’s encounter as the first-place Bearkats enter the weekend with an 8-6 record and a perfect 5-0 mark in conference play, including a 3-0 decision over the Lady Cards in Huntsville.

Sierra Whittaker has undoubtedly been the focal point of the Lady Card offense over the past few weeks, and the senior out of Houston is averaging a team-best 3.50 kills per set and stands 28 shy of joining the 1,000 career kill club for LU. After missing much of the non-conference season due to injury, Whittaker returned last month with the first SHSU meeting, where she hit .300 with seven kills, and she’ll be looking to do even more this time around.



In the middle, Cortney Moore has been the stalwart in the rotation, averaging 2.39 kills per set, but the duo of Chelsea Grant and Sara Landis have been as important as well. Grant ranks among some of the best freshman blockers in the country with 1.02 blocks per set, and Landis is coming off a performance against TAMUCC last Saturday that featured six kills at a .308 clip and a pair of blocks spread out over three sets.

Defensively, Megan Schwartz still leads the team in digs per set at 3.88 despite being deputized as an outside hitter that last few weeks instead of her usual libero role. Erika Rojas and Molly Duge have been impressive as well, recording 2.75 and 2.17, respectively.

First serve on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.


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