Bearkats host Huskies today

Sam Houston State returns home to face Houston Baptist today.

The Bearkats enter the match with a 6-3 Southland Conference record (13-9 overall) after defeating Northwestern State on Saturday in five sets.

SHSU and HBU enter the competition coming off big SLC.

The Huskies are led by sophomore outside hitter Jessica Wooten, senior outside hitter Bailey Keith and junior middle blocker Allison Doerpingaus.

In the match against Nicholls State, Wooten led her team offensively with 21 kills and led the team defensively with 18 digs. Keith finished with 12 kills and five block assists while Doerpingaus added nine kills to the scoreboard and had seven block assists.

SHSU’s senior outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson led the Bearkats after totaling 22 kills, 12 digs and two solo blocks against the Demons on Saturday.

Junior middle blocker Carling Urben finished with 12 kills and one block assist. Freshmen outside hitters Jordyn Vaughn and Brooke White finished the match with 10 and eight kills, respectively.

HBU’s sophomore setter Kayla Armer had 49 total assists out of 62 kills and 13 digs in the match against Nicholls, while SHSU’s freshman setter Michelle Griffith totaled 56 assists out of 62 kills and had eight digs from the back row.

Wooten leads the Huskie defense alongside sophomore defensive specialist Beth Shecterle, who totaled 13 digs against Nicholls. Freshman middle blocker Blair Gillard led the team in block assists with nine.

Although Doerpingaus had seven blocks last match, the Bearkats need to move the ball around constantly when she is at the net. Doerpingaus fell short of just one block against McNeese, shy of the overall school record of 15 set back in 2000.

Sophomore libero Claire Kilpatrick runs the defense for the Bearkats. She racked up 18 digs in Saturday’s match and was voted as the SLC volleyball defensive player of the week.

White totaled 13 digs falling short in second place for the Bearkats.

The Bearkats are looking to extend their perfect home winning streak record (7-0) as they host the Huskies. They prepare for Thursday’s match by focusing on themselves first and then scouting the opponent.

Wells-Gibson said the main focus of practice has been blocking.

“Our blocking has been our main weakness,” Wells-Gibson said. “So we’re making that a priority this week.”

Head coach Brenda Gray said her team is focusing on one match at a time.

“Our focus this year is to continually get better every day we step foot on that court, whether its practice, whether its film,” she said. “Be more knowledgeable about the game every day you walk out and become better skilled.”

The first serve is scheduled at 6:30 pm in the Johnson Coliseum.

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