Kats defeat Demons in four sets on Tuesday

Sam Houston State defeated Northwestern State in four sets on Tuesday to continue its undefeated streak at Johnson Coliseum this season.

The victory improves the Kats to 10-3 in the Southland Conference.

The Bearkats started off strong with a 5-0 lead in the first set when NSU’s Ashley Davis put an end to the Bearkats’ run with a kill.

The Demons fought back after services aces and attack errors from the Bearkats, tying the score 14-14.

After an SHSU timeout, Demons’ Natalie Jaeger served an ace for NSU taking their first lead of the game.

The score was tied again at 19-19 and after back-to-back service errors from both teams, the Bearkats push the lead to 21-20.

NSU tried to fight back, but freshman outside hitter Brooke White and senior middle blocker Carling Urben put up a Bearkat block extending the lead 23-20.

Senior outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson ended the first set with a kill winning 25-21.

A slow start from Northwestern in the second set resulted in an early timeout at 7-3 Kats. Coming out of the timeout, NSU’s Aubrey Davis responded to SHSU’s quick run with a kill.

NSU took their second timeout at 15-6 while sophomore libero Claire Kilpatrick was serving. Kilpatrick went on a 6-0 serving run halfway through the set.

An attack error by Wells-Gibson ended the Bearkats’ run.

The Demons continued to make mistake after mistake with a slow offense, passing off target, and not moving to the ball.

SHSU had their largest lead at 20-8. Then Wells-Gibson would end the set for the second time on the night at 25-14.

After a ten minute break during the match, both teams warmed up for set three.

The Bearkats reverted back to old habits and fell apart.

NSU took a 5-7 lead and never looked back.

The Demons shut down the Bearkats’ key hitters and started triple blocking freshman outside hitter Jordyn Vaughn and Wells-Gibson.

Head coach Brenda Gray made substitutions with NSU up 10-17. Gray put sophomore outside hitter Breanna Homer back in the game and Cherise Coleman made an appearance.

The Bearkats did not click offensively or defensively as they let balls hit the floor and served right into the net.

“We all took a step back, and that has been our Achilles heel all year long,” Gray said.

The Demons stole the third set 15-25.

The fourth set was exciting as SHSU had a four-point lead over NSU to start things off.

The Bearkats pushed a seven point lead at 20-13 late in the third.

Demons’ Vanessa Coleman and Aubrey Davis ended that streak with a solid block at the net.

At 22-19, the Demons started to come back. They couldn’t hold on any longer as White found her rhythm and got attempt after attempt from sophomore setter Michelle Griffith.

SHSU defeated NSU 25-21.

Aubrey Davis led the Demon offense totaling 11 kills. NSU’s Stacey DiFrancesco and Mackenzie Neely finished with eight kills apiece.

Demons’ Emily Johnson had 20 assists for the night and Natalie Jaeger had 16.

Bailey Martin ran NSU’s defense with 19 digs. DiFrancesco came close in second place with 18 digs.

Wells-Gibson led the Bearkats with 19 kills and was the second leading scorer defensively with 14 digs. Kilpatrick racked up 19 digs for SHSU. White finished with 12 kills and Vaughn with 10. Griffith ended the match with 44 assists.

The Bearkats are now 10-0 at home this season and move up to 9-3 in SLC play.

The Kats will turn around and host Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday.

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