Kats win three-setter against TAMUCC

Sam Houston State secured a 3-0 win over Texas A&M – Corpus Christi on Saturday 25-17, 25-21 and 25-20.

The win continues SHSU’s undefeated home record of 9-0 this season.

Senior outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson single handedly took over the match with 24 kills, nine digs, and one block.

Going into the match, Corpus Christi was seated higher than SHSU.  However, the Southland Conference standings did not faze Wells-Gibson, she said.

“My mindset was just to play,” she said. “I always have the thought of ‘this is my last year’ in the back of my mind, which can hinder me mentally when playing. So this game, I just focused on enjoying the moment, and enjoying the girls and playing for them.”

The second leading scorers for the Bearkats were sophomore middle blocker Shelby Genung and freshman outside hitter Brooke White who totaled six kills each. Sophomore setter Michelle Griffith had 42 assists for the match.

Senior outside hitter Brianna Brink led the Islanders with nine kills and freshman setter Kristyn Nicholson totaled 23 assists and five digs.

SHSU took control from the start with a 10-6 lead in the first set. The Islanders rallied back and forth and managed to stay within two points until the Bearkats built a 22-16 lead. The Bearkats ended the first set with a kill from Wells-Gibson.

The Islanders started off the second set strong with an early 8-5 lead. The Bearkats struggled to get a rhythm going momentarily until they tied the score at 9-9.

Both teams went on four-point runs halfway through the match, but it was the Bearkats who ended up on top 18-15. Although the Islanders tied the score 18-18, the Bearkats went on another four-point run to win the set.

In the third and final set, SHSU never settled with a 2-0 set lead. Instead of allowing the opponent to dominate in the third and push the match to a fourth set, the Bearkats took off with an 11-5 start.  The score was tied at 13-13 and from then on it was a race to the finish line. There were four tied scores late in the set, but SHSU stayed focused and aggressive and never let up. The Bearkats went on an 8-3 run to defeat the Islanders.

This three straight set win was rewarding for the Bearkats. Griffith said that everyone stepped up which allowed them to spread out the offense and not have to depend on just one or two hitters to get the job done.

The Islanders are now 8-4 in SLC play (15-24 overall). The Bearkats move up to 8-3 in the SLC (15-9 overall).

SHSU has a full schedule ahead of them this week with three home games.

The Bearkats will take the court on Tuesday to play host to Northwestern State at 6:30 pm.

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