Looking the stay undefeated in conference play, Sam Houston State University traveled to San Antonio to take on the Incarnate Word Cardinals. This would be the seventh overall meeting between these two teams, with the Bearkats having claimed four out of the six matchups.
Senior middle blocker Taylor Cunningham was named Southland Conference offense and defense player of the week heading into the matchup. Being only four kills away 1000 career kills, this would make Cunningham the twenty third player in Bearkat history to do so. With Cunningham also needing 17 more blocks, she will become the seventh player in program history with 350 career blocks.
In the first set, the Bearkats had a rough start going down 10 to five and never quite recovering. Despite Cunningham’s five kills, which put her over the 1000 kills mark, and finishing the set with eight, the Bearkats lost the set 25 to 19. To go along with that, senior outside hitter Madison Wallace had six digs to help on the defensive post. Senior setter Jaclyn Ward gave the Bearkats seven out of eight assist.
In the second set, the Bearkats continued to struggle going down five to one before eventually trailing 11 to five. Cunningham had three more kills to bring her total of the night to 12 kills. Ward continued with another nine assists despite dropping the set 25 to 18.
At the start of the third set, the Bearkats had a strong start going up nine to four. Cunningham added three more kills in this set totaling her 15 for the night. The Cardinals kept knocking at the door however, coming back to tie the set at 10. With the help of Wards five third set assist, the Bearkats were able to take a 24 to 23 lead. After a disappointing finish, the Bearkats lost the set 27 to 25, giving them their first conference loss of the season.
After this disappointing loss, the Bearkats look to start fresh against the Abilene Christian University Wildcats at one p.m. on Saturday, October 6 at the Bernard Johnson Coliseum.