Sam Houston settles for 2nd

The Sam Houston State University Bearkats finished second place in the SHSU Invitational Volleyball Tournament over the weekend with a victory over Southern Mississippi in four games.

The Kats beat Radford 3-0 and lost to eventual tournament winner North Texas 3-1 in day one.

In day two the Kats lost to Louisiana Tech 3-1, and beat Southern Mississippi 3-1 in the final match to take second place with a overall 2-2 record.

The Bearkats got off to a great start in the opening day of the tournament beating Radford in three straight games. Senior Lindsey Roebken led the Kats in kills with 12, followed by freshman Katie Phillips and senior Rhae Walderman who each had 10. Senior Melissa Sims led the defensive effort with 23 digs, and sophomore Megan McNamara added 48 assists

Although Sam Houston clearly won the first two games of the match, the third was close. There was three lead changes and three tied scores in the Kats 30-27 victory.

Match five of the day was Sam Houston taking on North Texas. This match featured 18 tie scores and over a dozen lead changes. In the end though, it was North Texas, lead by Brittney Gregory, that clinched the final game, 30-24. One bright spot in the loss was the play of junior Cynthia Yarotsky, who led the Kats with 17 kills and also had 12 digs.

Day two of the tournament saw the Kats lose their first match to Louisiana Tech, only to comeback strong and win their second against Southern Mississippi.

Louisiana Tech came out strong in the first game, beating the Kats 30-22 with a team attack percentage of .288 to the Kats .021. The Kats then came back to win the second game, 35-33 only to lose the next two, 32-30 and 30-25. Freshman BreAnne McCorquodale led the Kats with 12 kills. Sims was strong defensively again with 38 digs.

In their second match, the Kats took on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. This series saw over 35 ties and 20 lead changes. In game three alone there were 21 ties and 11 lead changes, the only game the Kats lost.

Roebken was solid in the match against the Golden Eagles, after the Kats went up 2-0, the Eagles took the third game 32-30 that very easily could’ve gone either way. In the fourth game, the Kats took the early lead, but Southern Miss came back and pulled the game within two. After a kill by Roebken, Yarotsky added two of her 12 kills in the match to win the game, and match. Roebken finished the match leading all Kats with 19 kills.

Middle blocker Roebken and Sims were named to the all-tournament team.

Roebken led the Bearkats in scoring throughout the tournament with 61 points, 49 kills and 18 blocks. Roebken also had a .244 hit percentage, only 20 errors in 119 attempts, to led all Kats. Sims had over a hundred digs in the four matches, including 24 in the final match against Southern Miss., averaging around seven per game.

The Kats travel to North Texas on Friday to play Oklahoma in the first round of the Mean Green classic.

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