Senior Haley Neisler totaled 23 kills in two matches as Sam Houston split on the first day of action at the SMU Volleyball Invitational in Dallas Friday.

The Bearkats lost to Davidson in four sets in their opening match, then bounced back to win in three over Grambling in the nightcap.

The victory upped Sam Houston head coach Brenda Gray's all-time win total to 598. The coach of the Bearkats for the past 29 seasons now stands two victories away from becoming the 26th NCAA Division I head coach to pick up 600 volleyball victories.

Sam Houston upped its season record to 2-4 with a 25-8 25-11 25-9 win over Grambling. Deveney Wells-Gibson led the Kats with 12 kills. Neisler added seven.

Sam Houston never trailed in any of the sets against the Tigers.

Neisler posted 16 kills to lead Sam Houston as the Bearkats fell 25-22 25-21 23-25 25-13 to Davidson. Neisler made only hitting error in 32 attempts to produce a .469 hitting percentage for the Bearkats..

Wells-Gibson was credited with nine kills and Lauren Bohlen added eight. Sam Houston totaled 51 kills as a team in the Davidson match.

Each of the first three sets were nip-and-tuck affairs. The first set was tied eight times, the second four and the third saw four lead changes and nine ties before the Bearkats took it.

In the final set, Davidson grabbed an early 12-5 lead. Sam Houston cut the margin to four points, 14-10 on a Wells-Gibson attack but could come no closer.

Davidson stands 4-0 on the year while Sam Houston dropped to 1-4.

The Bearkats will complete play in the tournament against host team SMU Saturday at 2:30 p.m.