Oct. 5, 2011
BEAUMONT - Lamar University will look to get back above .500 in Southland Conference matches when the Lady Cardinals take on long-time rival McNeese State on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. from Memorial Gym.
After opening Southland Conference play with back-to-back home wins, the Lady Cardinals (4-15) suffered a pair of road setbacks last week at Texas State and UT Arlington to fall to 2-2 in league play. McNeese will enter the match with a 6-12 overall record and a 1-3 conference mark after also losing to the same two road opponents last week.
In what is one of Lamar's oldest rivalries, Thursday's match will be the 63rd meeting between the two schools. LU has a commanding 42-20 lead with each school winning on its home court last season. Lamar took a 3-0 win on Sept. 17 before the Cowgirls won in four sets on Oct. 19.
Lamar and McNeese State are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in attack percentage in the Southland Conference. LU is hitting .191 as a team and averaging 11.52 kills per set, while the Cowgirls are hitting .181 and posting 11.99 kills per set.
Sophomore outside hitter Sierra Whittaker leads Lamar, and ranks sixth in the Southland, in kills per set at 3.15. She is also tops on the team in attack percentage at .267, and second on the team in service aces with 11.
Junior setter Alex Morford is handing out 8.65 assists per set, and her 0.51 service aces per set ranks third in the Southland. Fellow junior Christina Hobbs is averaging 0.95 blocks per set to pace Lamar, and Angel Morford's 3.59 digs per set is best among the Lady Cardinals.
McNeese's Maegan Carlton is third in the conference in kills per set at 3.41. The freshman is second on the team in attack percentage at .245, with senior Nicole Bowden leading the way at .284.
Following the McNeese State match, Lamar will return home to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday afternoon at 1 from McDonald Gym.