CONWAY, Ark. – Ashley Lewis turned in 21 kills and the Sam Houston State Bearkats outlasted the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears in five sets to move to 2-0 in Southland Conference play on Saturday afternoon at the Prince Center.
The win moves the Kats (6-8, 2-0 SLC) to 2-0 in Southland Conference for the third straight season and snapped a four-match losing skid in the series to UCA. It was the Kats’ first win in Conway since the SLC Tournament in 2015 and the first win in the Prince Center since 2012.
Lewis turned in another big match with 21 kills and 14 digs, marking the fourth time this year she’s reached 20 kills and the seventh match in her last eight to have at least 10.
Breanne Chausse added 15 key kills on a day that saw SHSU hit .227 and register 10.0 blocks, while freshmen Catherine Krieger and Samantha Rodgers each had eight scores. The Bearkat front line also played a big role as Elise Smith had five block assists, and Kaira Hunnicutt had four of her own.
Additionally, Addison Miller’s 24 digs were tops among all players, while Madilyn Miles (33) and Morgan Janda (17) combined for 50 assists.
The Kats had 17 kills, but had to outlast UCA in the opening set, taking it 29-27 before the Sugar Bears rallied to tie it with a 25-18 win in Set 2 on .357 hitting. The teams traded sets again in Sets 3 and 4 and found themselves tied up at 11-11 late in Set 5.
Rodgers then delivered a kill to break the tie and a UCA attack error was followed by a service ace from Miller that put the Kats in a match-point opportunity. UCA was able to fight off a pair of match-point tries before Lewis put away the final kill of the day.
The Kats will now return home for the first time since the opening weekend of the season for four straight matches at Johnson Coliseum beginning on Thursday vs New Orleans and followed by a meeting with Southeastern Louisiana.