After defeating Sam Houston State in three sets, 25-16, 26-24, and 25-21, the Central Michigan Chippewas went on to finish the Comfort Suites Bearkat Classic as the tournament champs 3-0.
The Bearkats finished 1-2 in the tournament, tied three ways with Lamar and North Texas. Sam Houston State took home the runner-up trophy based on most sets won, with five.
Sam Houston State began the tournament by facing off with the conference foe Lamar Cardinals Friday night. The Bearkats defeated Lamar in three sets, 25-17, 26-24, and 25-22, to give them their first win in the Southland conference. Carli Kolbe led with 15 kills along with 11 from Anna Ferguson.
“This was an important game being our first conference game,” said Kolbe. “We had control throughout the game. We came out with a lot of fire. We needed this one and we got it.”
The Bearkats continued the tournament Saturday morning against North Texas. Sam Houston State won the first and fourth sets, while the Eagles won the second and third, setting up a decisive fifth-set. The Eagles dominated the fifth and final set 15-7, which gave North Texas the match victory, 19-25, 27-25, 25-21, 27-29, and 15-7.
Ferguson led the Bearkats with 24 kills and Kolbe added 20 kills. The loss to North Texas marked the Bearkats’ first home loss of the year.
The championship match was a one-sided game, with Central Michigan not losing a set. The Chippewas rolled the match in a 3-0 sweep of the Bearkats. Kolbe led the Bearkats with 12 kills and Ferguson added eight.
“We got the win that mattered last night against Lamar,” said Coach Brenda Gray. “That one was conference; it was a game we needed to have. I think we should have beat North Texas this morning, but we just ran out of gas. I am proud of the effort we gave tonight against Central Michigan.”
Following the tournament, the Bearkats are 6-9 for the season and 1-0 in the conference.
Carli Kolbe and Anna Ferguson were the two Bearkats that made the all-tournament team.
Tournament MVP Kaitlyn Hurt was one of three Central Michigan players on the all-tournament team. North Texas and Lamar each had one player a piece on the all-tournament team.