Lady Cards head into final week with Southland Tournament in sight

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

Nov. 12, 2013

BEAUMONT – After a long season, the postseason fate of the Lamar volleyball team comes down to the final week of the year, which will begin with a trip to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday and conclude with Saturday’s season finale at Houston Baptist.

The Lady Cardinals, who enter the week with an overall record of 9-19, are 7-9 in Southland play, and currently find themselves out of the playoff picture. LU is tied with McNeese State for the eighth and final seed, but the Cowgirls hold the tiebreaker after beating Lamar this past weekend. Both Houston Baptist and Stephen F. Austin are within reach, sitting at 8-7 and 8-8, respectively in SLC play, and SFA will hold a tiebreaker should it apply.

The Last Meeting
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi3
September 28, 2013
McDonald Gym
Lamar Drops Heartbreaker in Five
Sierra Whittaker recorded a match-high 18 kills in a heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-7/3-1 SLC), 3-2 (30-28, 24-26, 19-25, 25-11, 12-15) Saturday afternoon at McDonald Gym. It was the second five-set match for the Lady Cardinals (4-12/2-3 SLC) in the past three days.

The Last Meeting
Houston Baptist2
September 26, 2013
McDonald Gym
Lady Cards Pick Up Five-Set Victory
The Lamar Lady Cardinals set McDonald Gym on fire in the fifth set to defeat Houston Baptist (5-9/0-2 SLC), 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12) Thursday night in Beaumont. Led by Sierra Whittaker's match-high 21 kills, the Lady Cardinals overcame a heartbreaking loss in set four, an early deficit in the fifth set and a 20-minute fire alarm delay in the final set to pick up their second Southland Conference victory of the season. Lamar (4-11/2-2 SLC) has now won three of its last four matches.

This week, McNeese will host HBU and then head to Nicholls. SFA is slated to take on Oral Roberts and Northwestern State. Between Tuesday’s match at McNeese and Saturday’s meeting with the Lady Cards, HBU will play host to Sam Houston State.

Following one of the most impressive defensive performances in the conference this past weekend, Chelsea Grant will look to continue that success into this week. The freshman tallied 10 blocks in just four sets vs. Nicholls and followed up with six more against McNeese. The Killeen native has also been a force offensively, but fellow middle Cortney Moore has stolen the headlines in the attack, which was especially true last weekend as she registered 28 kills and hit .500 over the seven sets.

Sierra Whittaker enters her final regular season matches with the aim of lengthening her stellar LU career. The senior outside hitter has recorded more than 1,000 kills in her career, and she’s posted a team-leading average of 3.47 kills per set this year.

Alexa Johnson and Ashley Ellis have split setting duties. Johnson leads the team with 8.53 assists per set, and Ellis has chipped in 6.71.

Megan Schwartz, who achieved her 1,000th career dig last weekend, is the heart of the back row and holds a team-best 3.53 digs per set average. Erika Rojas and Molly Duge are second and third, respectively, with 3.10 and 1.96.

First serve on Wednesday is scheduled for 4 p.m., and Saturday’s showdown with HBU is slated for 1 p.m.




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