Lamar and Southeastern La. to battle Thursday
Oct. 26, 2011
HAMMOND, La. - With just six matches remaining in the regular season, the Lamar volleyball team will make a final push toward making the Southland Conference Tournament when the Lady Cardinals play at Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
After a three-match winning streak, Lamar has now dropped three straight contests and stands at 7-18 overall and 5-5 in conference play. The Lady Cardinals currently sit in second in the SLC East Division, and tied for sixth overall. The top eight teams qualify for the conference tournament which begins Nov. 17 at Central Arkansas.
SLU carries a 4-23 overall record, and 0-10 Southland mark, into Thursday's match. The Lions, who lost to Lamar 3-1 in Beaumont on Sept. 22, have lost their last 14 matches. Lamar leads the all-time series with SLU by a wide 23-3 margin.
In the earlier meeting, Lamar got an outstanding match from sophomore outside hitter Sierra Whittaker who finished with 18 kills and a .552 attack percentage. The Lady Cards finished with a 63-47 advantage in digs against the Lions, and also had twice as many service aces (8-4).
Whittaker continues to lead Lamar offensively, averaging 3.12 kills per set on a team-best .248 attack percentage. Her kill average currently ranks sixth in the conference.
Lamar is fourth in the league as a team in attack percentage (.196) and seventh in kills (12.03). The Lions rank last in kills at 10.84 per set, and their .153 team attack percentage is 10th. Both teams rank near the bottom of the conference in digs with Lamar averaging 14.14 per set for 10th and SLU averaging 14.12 for 11th.
Two other Lady Cards are averaging at least two kills per set with Megan McStravick posting 2.53 and Cynthia McCollum adding 2.01. Junior setter Alex Morford is posting 9.56 assists per set as she directs the offense, while her 0.52 service aces per set ranks second in the conference.
Defensively, Lamar is getting 3.94 digs per set from junior libero Angel Colyar and 2.12 from redshirt freshman Megan Schwartz. Junior middle blocker Christina Hobbs' 1.01 blocks per set ranks fifth in the conference.
SLU also has three players posting at least two kills per set with Courtney Donald averaging 2.27. Donald led the Lions with 15 kills in the first meeting with Lamar.