Bearkats suffer four-set loss at Texas-Arlington

Last week began with the Sam Houston State volleyball team near the top of the conference standings. Yet after picking up a loss at Texas State on Wednesday, the situation quickly went from bad to worse. The Bearkats (9-9, 3-3 SLC) lost at Texas-Arlington (11-7, 4-1 SLC) on Saturday and found themselves 3-3 in conference play and just one week away from facing undefeated conference leader Stephen F. Austin in Johnson Coliseum.

In their second road game of the week, the Bearkats were defeated by UTA in four sets, 24-30 20-30 30-26 27-30.

“We definitely played better than against Texas State,” Assistant Coach Joe Lind said. “We had some hitting errors and service errors, and I would say that cost us the game.”

After losing the first two sets, the Bearkats came through for the win in the do-or-die situation in set three. After falling behind 4-1, the Bearkats came back with three unanswered points and continued to hang with the Mavericks, going point-for-point throughout the set. As the Mavericks lost steam, the Bearkats capitalized and powered forward to claim the lead, which they carried the remainder of the set before taking the 30-26 victory.

Yet the Bearkats were unable to keep the game alive as the Mavericks battled for the fourth and final set, taking the 30-27 win for their fourth conference win of the season.

“They (UTA) put up a big block, but our girls were swinging hard,” Lind said. “I thought we were pretty aggressive with our serving, but sometimes when you go for the ace, you get the error.”

Cynthia Yarotsky took top kill honors for the Bearkats with 18, followed by Brittanie Wallace with 15 and Launa McClung with 10. Megan McNamara led in assists with 50, while Megan Kuehler led in digs with 25.

Prior to Saturday’s match, the Sam Houston State team traveled to San Marcos where they were swept by Texas State, who now sit at third place in the West division of the Southland Conference.

The Bobcats (10-7, 3-2 SLC) defeated the Bearkats in three sets, 17-30 16-30 25-30.

Yarotsky and Wallace each claimed 11 kills for the Bearkats, followed by Sarah Hazelwood with six.

McNamara again led the team in assists with 18, followed by Kym Loving with nine.

The Bearkats’ are scheduled to return home this Friday in a match-up with conference foe Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks boast a 16-5 season record and are in the lead in the SLC-West at 6-0 in conference play.

“We just need to minimize our errors. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and apply it,” Lind said. “We’ve gotten better and we’re going in the right direction. Hopefully we can get a big crowd and go after SFA and break their win streak in conference.”

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