CONWAY, Ark. – The Sam Houston State volleyball team (20-7, 12-3 SLC) tried to claw its way back from a 2-0 deficit but the Bearkats were out-hit .161 - .009 and fell by a score of 3-1, Saturday afternoon at Central Arkansas.
Breanne Chausse led Sam Houston with 15 kills and five blocks and hit an impressive .306 on the day. Three Bearkats – Taylor Cunningham, Ashley Lewis and Madison Wallace – recorded double-digit digs while the team combined for three services aces.
Though the Kats won the opening point, UCA took its first lead at 4-3 and never looked back. Sam Houston was plagued by three consecutive errors and a kill from UCA’s Samantha Anderson quickly gave UCA a 9-4 advantage. The Kats clawed their way back and tied up the set three separate times before UCA ran away with the 25-21 win in the opening set.
Sam Houston was slow to start the second set and fell behind 8-1 before Lewis recorded back-to-back kills to cut UCA’s lead down to five points. However, the Sugar Bears added separation on a 6-2 run and forced a Bearkat timeout after taking a 14-5 lead. UCA held onto the momentum and used a service ace to close out the second set, 25-11.
Coming back from a 6-3 deficit to start the third set, the Kats recorded five unanswered points to go ahead 8-6. The squads stood neck-and-neck before kills from Cunningham and Chausse, along with three UCA attack errors put Sam Houston up 17-11. The Kats kept their foot on the gas pedal and ran away with seven unanswered points to claim a 25-13 set victory to make it a 2-1 match.
Although Sam Houston flipped the momentum in the third set, the Kats could hang on and found themselves down by six points at the 10-4 mark. Taking advantage of several UCA hitting errors, the squad fought back after being down 20-13 and used multiple kills from Chausse and Elise Smith to cut into UCA’s lead 23-22. However, two final attack errors from the Kats ended the set and gave UCA the 3-1 victory.
With the loss, Sam Houston falls to 20-7 on the season and 12-3 in Southland Conference play. The Kats are set to close out the regular season with a 1 p.m. match at Abilene Christion on Nov. 10.