HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats started and finished strong on Tuesday night, outlasting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for a 3-2 (25-12, 18-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11) win at Johnson Coliseum.
The win was a big one for the Kats (12-5, 4-1 SLC) who picked up a five-set win over the Islanders (4-15, 3-3 SLC) in Huntsville for the second consecutive season, and kicked off a stretch of six matches over the next 12 days for Sam Houston.
Taylor Cunningham continued her run of high-level play, leading the Kats with 22 of SHSU’s 51 kills on the night, hitting .283 on her 53 swings with 17 digs and three blocks. Madison Wallace also set a career high with 29 digs, helping hold the Islanders to just .119 hitting for the match.
The Kats needed that night from Cunningham after AMCC held Sam Houston to just .086 hitting for the match, and no higher than .130 after a red-hot first set that saw the Kats score 13 kills on 26 tries (.423).
Jaclyn Ward finished with a team-high 33 assists, while Caroline Sheaff had seven assists. Meanwhile, Amanda Gooch and Breanne Chausse both led the way at the net, getting in on six of Sam Houston’s 10 blocks for the match.
Ashley Lewis played a big role in the Kats erasing a 2-1 deficit as she delivered five of her eight kills in the match in the fourth set. Sam Houston trailed 16-13 midway but then tied it up at 16-16 on the first of Lewis’ five kills in the set.
From there the Kats would close things out in the final set, racing out to an 11-3 lead on a run that included a pair of kills from both Jordan Kiley and Caroline Sheaff. AMCC managed to claw back to within three at 13-10, but Lewis and Cunningham finished it off with a pair of kills.
The Kats will now hit the road for two more matches this week, beginning Thursday at Nicholls and then again on Saturday at New Orleans. They will then return back to Huntsville for three consecutive matches, starting October 16 against Houston Baptist.