VB Recap: SFA wins pair; Texas St. wins 5-set thriller

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Ladyjacks Rack Up 12 blocks in 3-0 Victory over UL Monroe

Story courtesy: SFA Athletics

The SFA volleyball team totaled 12 blocks en route to a 3-0 sweep (25-8, 25-19, 25-11) of the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on Friday at home at Shelton Gym. The non-conference win improved SFA’s overall record to 3-1 on the season.

Leah Powell finished with eight kills on the night to lead the Ladyjack’s attack. Defensively, SFA had three players reach double figures in digs, including Madelynn Miller’s 16, another 13 from Ariana Pagan, and 12 more from Allie Hamsher. From the front row, Ashley Procious contributed nine blocks (two solo, seven assisted).

SFA is back in action tomorrow inside Shelton Gymnasium, taking on Lamar at 2:30 p.m. before squaring off with the Huskies of Houston Baptist University at 6:30 p.m.


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Bobcats earn five-set victory over UTEP

Story courtesy: Texas State Athletics

Junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald tallied a career-high 20 kills (.326) to lead Texas State (3-0) past UTEP (0-0) in five sets (15-25, 25-22, 25-12, 23-25, 15-10) Friday night at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats extend their home winning streak to 15 consecutive matches.

“I will take an ugly win over an ugly loss any day of the week,” said head coach Sean Huiet. “We have been battling stuff and figuring things out. We have not had a full team in a while so we know that this will be a work in progress but we will take that win. UTEP is a very good team and they made us work for every point we got tonight. Even though I am happy we got the win, it really highlighted some things we need to work on.”

Fitzgerald was the only Bobcat in double-figures offensively and matched a career-high six blocks in the match. Junior setter Emily DeWalt logged her 33rd career double-double with 43 assists and 15 digs, while also registering four kills on nine errorless swings (.444). Junior middle blocker Jillian Slaughter also had six blocks, highlighted by two solos, to go along with eight kills, and although sophomore outside Caitlan Buettner did not have a strong offensive match, she led the team with 17 digs and turned in a career-high four blocks.

In what is counted aa a scrimmage for UTEP, sophomore outside hitter Alianza Darley led the team with 12 kills and five blocks. Junior outside Serena Patterson had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, and also had four blocks (two solos). Junior setter Kristen Fritsche paced the team with 22 assists, and junior libero Ha’ahula Crisostomo led all players with 20 digs.

Texas State had a rough going offensively as they hit .203 in the match and had only two service aces compared to UTEP’s 11. The Bobcats made up for it on defense, however, as they set a new season-high 15 blocks with five of them being solo blocks. TXST did hold an edge over UTEP in kills (56-46), assists (51-44), digs (67-58) and blocks (15-13).

The Bobcats improve to 12-5 in the all-time series with the Miners and are 8-2 overall when playing at home. TXST now has a two-match winning streak at home against UTEP.        

Texas State and UTEP will face off again at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Strahan Arena.


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Ladyjacks Tally .469 Attack Percentage in 3-0 Win Over Lamar

Story courtesy: SFA Athletics

The SFA volleyball team tallied a .469 attack percentage en route to a 3-0 victory (25-7, 25-14, 25-7) over the Lamar Cardinals on Friday inside Shelton Gym. With the non-conference win, SFA’s record improves to 2-1 

Ariana Pagan finished with nine kills on the day to lead the Ladyjacks offense while finishing with a hitting percentage of .474. Bryli Contreras pitched in with five service aces in the contest. SFA got 23 digs from Madelynn Miller to lead the way on defense. 


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Cards Drop Season-Opening Doubleheader

Story courtesy: James Dixon, Lamar Assistant AD/Media Relations

Lamar University opened the 2020-21 season with a doubleheader at Stephen F. Austin Friday afternoon. The Cardinals (0-2) dropped both non-conference matches which were played at Shelton Gym.  LU dropped the opening match of the day to Louisiana-Monroe, 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 23-25. 18-25), and fell to Stephen F. Austin, 3-0 (7-25, 14-25, 7-25) in the afternoon match.

The doubleheader was the first of five matches for the Cardinals during the COVID-shortened 2020 fall season.

The Cardinals held ULM to a .186 attack percentage but couldn’t take advantage posting 49 kills on 167 attempts with 19 errors (.144). The Red and White finished the day with two more blocks, 8-6, than their opponents. LU had too many missed opportunities in the second match with 17 kills and 16 attack errors.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Gil led the Cardinals with 18 kills, three blocks and 23 digs, while senior Bre’Ala Box added 16 kills and four blocks.

“The moral of the story for today is that we have some things to work on,” said first-year LU head coach Jordan Lay. “When we play in our system we know that can compete with these teams and score. We are young but we took some good steps forward today.

“Obviously, not having a full roster presented quite a bit of challenges for us. We really didn’t have lineup changes when we needed to make them. I’m very proud of the players we have here today. They are in a difficult position but they’re giving Lamar University everything they have. I’m looking forward to seeing what we learned from today and getting back on the court tomorrow,” added Lay.

The Warhawks jumped out to an early lead in opening set scoring 10 of the matches first 13 points before the Red and White settled down. Once the Cardinals put a stop to the ULM run, Big Red battled its way right back into match with a 5-0 run of their own.

Sparked by a Tytiana Johnson block and kill, and aided by two Warhawk misfires, the Cardinals found themselves down only two, 10-8, midway through the first set. UL Monroe managed to put a stop to the run to build back a seven points lead, 18-11. It appeared the Warhawks were headed to an easy opening-set victory until Lay’s club battled back late. The Cardinals pulled within two but could get no closer as Monroe held on for the 25-22 set-one victory.

The Cardinals’ attack was failed by six errors in the opening set.

The second set started off in similar fashion, watching the Warhawks take an early six-point lead with LU battling right back to trim the lead down to one 14-13. The Warhawks answered with four straight forcing Big Red to make another run. The major difference from the opening set is UL Monroe was unable to stop this run. The Cardinals took their first lead of the match at 21-20, riding the wave of an 8-2 run. The Cards pushed that run to 12-2 to lock up a 25-20 decision tying the match at 1. The Cardinals raised the attack percentage nearly 100 points in the second set.

After dropping a heartbreaker in set three that saw UL Monroe rally for the late victory, the Cardinals entered the fourth set needing a win to keep the match alive. While the Cardinals kept the match close, they were unable to get over the hump in the final set.

SFA proved too much for the Cardinals in the second match. SFA swept the match in straight sets holding the Cardinals to single digits in two of the three sets.

The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday in a rematch with SFA. The match against the Lumberjacks will begin at 2:30 p.m. from Shelton Gym.

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