The Sam Houston State Bearkat volleyball team found their rhythm at home Thursday night against the Nicholls State Colonels, winning in straight sets 25-13, 25-20 and 25-18. The win was the team’s first conference win of the season.
The Kats looked in rhythm right from the start as they went ahead 8-2 in the opening set, including seven straight points before a Nicholls State timeout. After the timeout, there was no drop off in execution as the Bearkats stormed through the first set.
“Our serving got them out of rhythm, so if the team is constantly giving you free balls back we can just basically do whatever we want,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “So, therefore it gives us a free shot at anything we want.”
The beginning of the second set was more of the same.
Junior outside hitter Jordyn Vaughn stole the show. She lead the team with 15 kills and recorded a .375 attack percentage, the highest of any Bearkat this season. Vaugn had four kills in the second set alone.
“The outsides (outside hitters) are usually your go to, so it’s usually between me and Brooke (White) for who gets the kill, and tonight just happened to be my night,” Vaughn said.
After an extended break the Bearkats looked a bit sluggish to start the third set, and Nicholls took advantage by taking a 7-4 lead.
“We hate the 10 minute break because we had to so much momentum and we had to go back to the locker room,” Vaughn said. “Then we come back out here and it takes us a couple of points to warm up.”
After the slow start, the Kats quickly stormed back to tie the set at 10. The team went on a run to take a 16-12 lead, which led to a Nicholls State timeout. The Kats continued to pull away after the timeout before winning the final set 25-18.
After a slow start to conference play the Bearkat volleyball team looks like they’ve found their rhythm. From start to finish the Bearkats looked like the superior team.
“This is the performance I expect every night,” Gray said. “This team can do some really, really good things. I think the fact that we have a few players that feel a little healthier really helped us out.”
Junior outside hitter Brooke White finished with 10 kills and senior setter Michelle Griffith added 41 assists. Freshman defensive specialist Addison Miller ad 14 digs in the Southland Conference win.
After tonight’s win the Bearkats are riding high, but they know they can’t celebrate for long as they have a quick turnaround with McNeese State coming to Huntsville on Saturday.
First serve for Saturday’s Southland Conference showdown is set for 2 p.m. in Gym 2 of the Health and Kinesiology Center.