Kats still alive after beating Nicholls and Southeastern

Sam Houston State volleyball team picked up two huge Southland Conference home wins and kept alive the Bearkats’ post-season tournament hopes.

“Both matches were totally a team effort” said Head Coach Brenda Gray.

Friday, the Bearkats defeated Nicholls State 30-33 19-30 23-30 30-27 15-11. Sophomore Alisha Fowler led the Kats with 17 kills and was responsible for winning 19 points. Sophomore Chrissy Engle added 15 kill and 4 blocks, while freshman Rhae Walderman had 13 kills. Senior Carrie Sartain led the team in digs with 18 and added 11 kills. On Saturday, Sam Houston State defeated Southeastern Louisiana 33-31 30-28 26-30 30-27.

“Southeastern Louisiana is a good team with two big sisters that make it hard, and you have to hit around them,” said Coach Gray.

Fowler again led the team with 20 kills and four blocks. “Alisha did a very good job this weekend,” said Coach Gray.

Walderman had 16 kills, Engle 13 and Sartain added 11 kills and 27 digs. Sophomore Jennifer Henrichsen led in digs with 32.

“The girls are getting more confidence back now that everyone is back healthy again,” said Coach Gray.

Sam Houston State now stands 11-15 for the season and 8-9 in SLC action. The Bearkats stand in seventh place behind Nicholls State, which holds a two-game lead and is 10-7. The top six teams go to the SLC post-season tournament.

“It was hard playing a five-game match against Nicholls State and then coming right make the next day with a four game match with Southeastern Louisiana,” said Coach Gray.

The schedule for the final week of the season, however, favors the Colonels. Sam Houston State must play three of the top four teams in the SLC (first place Texas State, second place SFA and fourth place UTA) while the Colonels have three games with the tenth and 11th place teams in the league.

“The last three games would be much easier if they were at our house,” said Coach Gray.

Sam Houston State plays Texas State on the road where Coach Gray said, “We play very well at Texas State it should be a good game Tuesday night.”

Then the Bearkats return home to finish the season Friday and Saturday night at Johnson Coliseum against SFA and UTA, respectively. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.

Friday night is going to be “Papa Johns Pizza Night” with free pizza to be given away to the rowdiest fans. Saturday night is going to be “Senior Night.” Everyone needs to come out and support the Bearkats in the two final conferences must win games of the season.

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