Bearkat volleyball struggles in Dallas weekend tournament

Sam Houston State University’s losing woes followed them into Dallas during the Mustang Volleyball Classic hosted by Southern Methodist University with a tournament record of 1-2.

Despite Deveney Wells-Gibson totaling 18 kills during the Bearkats and Mustangs, SHSU could not hold a lead with 18 ties and 6 lead changes during three consecutive sets with SMU winning 25-23, 28-26, and 25-21.

Haley Neisler added 8 kills for the Bearkats and was an all-tournament team selection with 31 kills for the entire weekend.

The Bearkats fell to Davidson College in four sets for Friday’s tournament opener, but later bounced back to defeat Grambling State University.

Neisler led the Bearkats against Davidson as they won the third set 25-23, but dropped the other three, 22-25, 21-25, and 13-25.

Wells-Gibson was right behind Neisler, totaling 9 kills, while Lauren Bohlen added 8 kills.

The first three sets were close, with a total of 21 ties and four lead changes. The third set saw four lead changes and nine ties before the Bearkats took it.

In the fourth and final set of the Davidson match, the Wildcats jumped out to an early 12-5 lead. The Bearkats cut the lead to 4 points, 14-10, behind the offensive attack of Wells-Gibson but couldn’t come any closer.

The Bearkats topped Grambling State in three sets later Friday evening. With the victory over the Tigers, the Bearkats improved to 2-4 on the season.

Head Coach Brenda Gray is now at 598 all-time wins, which puts her two victories away from becoming the 29th coach to achieve 600 volleyball victories in NCAA Division I coaching.

SHSU never trailed during the Grambling State match as Wells-Gibson led the Bearkats with 12 kills, while Neisler added 7 kills.

The Bearkats are 3-5 on the season as they head return to Huntsville to host the Sam Houston Invitational this weekend at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

They face conference rival, Lamar, in their first game Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

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