Bobcats spike Bearkats in five games

In a dramatic five-game match at Johnson Coliseum, the Bearkat volleyball team watched its chance at a tournament berth slip away at the hands of the Southwest Texas Bobcats.True to form, the Kats came out strong and defeated Southwest in game one 30-24. In game two, Carrie Sartain served five straight points to overcome a deficit and tie the game at 29-29. The Kats pulled through with a 32-30 win, but the Bobcats weren’t finished. The Bobcats rallied to win the last three games 30-24, 30-25 and 15-9.Tiffany Weidner emerged in game three and led Southwest in the second half sweep while the Kats played low-intensity volleyball, a problem that has plagued the team all season.”I told them in there (the locker room), ‘Stay intense, stay with it,'” coach Brenda Gray said. “We had a huge comeback. Don’t be satisfied; we’ve got to finish this match and move forward. The intensity level of this team is not there. They don’t understand how crucial it is to stay at a Weidner finished the match with 21 kills. Amy Amundson had 11 kills and Elizabeth Nwoke added nine kills. “Weidner stepped it up, she really did,” Gray said. “She’s the best player on their team, always. We talked about her before the game as somebody you have to contain and stop.”As for the Bearkats hitting squad, three women entered double-digit kills. Carrie Sartain led with 27, followed by Liz Dahlstrom and Chrissy Engle with 19 and 15, respectively. Though strong numbers, hitting errors and service return errors brought an end to the dream of making the SLC tournament for the first time since 1996. “I don’t know how to explain to anybody how we let that happen tonight,” Gray said. “How do you lose to a team that’s 4-15? How do you do that when you dominated the first two games?””It shows a lack of character and a lack of leadership,” an emotional Gray added. “When we were picked to finish seventh preseason, I thought to myself ‘We’ll show them.’ But we did not achieve our goal. They have got to understand how to keep the intensity.”The loss gave an automatic tournament berth to Southeastern Louisiana, who the Kats defeated in the first round of conference play. The team will face off again Friday night in Hammond, La., at 7 p.m. The Bearkat volleyball season will end Saturday in Thibodaux, La., against Nicholls State at 2 p.m.

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