Kats outlast Islanders in 5 sets

Sam Houston State University took on Texas A&M Corpus Christi for the 38th time in program history. The Bearkats led the all-time series 21-16 but had dropped 10 of the last 12 match-ups. SHSU snapped a six-game losing against TAMUCC by winning in five sets.

In the first set Junior defensive specialist Addison Miller started to match with a service ace. The Bearkats continued their hot streak going up going up nine to two. Senior middle blocker Taylor Cunningham was coming off her Southland Conference offensive player of the week nod and continued dominating with four kills in the first 11 points. Th Kats went on to take the set win 25-12.

“I thought we started off on fire” head coach Brenda Gray said.

Set two started differently as SHSU was down 9-6 and took a timeout. The Islanders offense showed up and scored the next eight out of 10 points to win the set 25-18.

The Islanders took a 5-1 lead in the third set with two of their points coming off no-play team errors by the Bearkats. After a hard-fought battle, the match was tied at 18.  Despite Cunningham adding six more kills on the night and senior setter Jaclyn Ward’s nine assists, the Islanders took the close set 25-23.

With the Bearkats down by one set, sophomore outside hitter Ashley Lewis stepped up and gave the Bearkats five kills to help lead them to a 25 to 23 set win.

“I almost think we came out to confident in sets two and three.” Lewis said “We didn’t make adjustments to their adjustments quick enough. I just had it in my mind, when I was going out on the court I was gonna do what I could to put the ball away.”

In the shortened fifth set, the Bearkats took a 5-2 lead with two of Cunningham’s final three kills coming in those five points. Going up 8-3, SHSU was ultimately able to pull out a 15-11 victory.

The Kats will take their 12-5 record on the road as they take on Nicholls in Thibodaux, Louisiana Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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