HUNTSVILLE - Prairie View A&M pushed the Sam Houston State volleyball team to the limit, but the Bearkats rallied in the fifth set to capture head coach Brenda Gray’s 700th career victory in the season opener Friday evening at Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats (1-0) easily took the first two sets 25-11 and 25-14 from the Panthers (1-0) in match two of the SHSU Invitational which also features Oral Roberts (0-1) and Louisiana Tech (1-0).
Prairie View got things rolling in the third set to pull with 2-1 with a 25-21 victory. Sam Houston State had multiple chances to finish off the Panthers in the back-and-fourth fourth set, but Prairie View took advantage of two SHSU errors to knot the match at 2 with a 32-30 win.
The Bearkats came storming out of the gate in the fifth set, going up 8-3 on an ace by senior Ashleigh Traylor. The Panthers got to within two but kills by sophomore Kaira Hunnicutt and freshman Catherine Krieger, along with two Prairie View errors, helped Sam Houston State take the fifth set 15-10.
Junior Ashley Lewis (22), sophomore Breanne Chausse (16) and Krieger (10) had double-digit kills for the Bearkats. Junior Madilyn Miles led the way with 40 assists and Hunnicutt, freshman De’Janae Gilmore and Chausse each had four blocks.
The Bearkats return to action with two matches today against Louisiana Tech at 12:30 p.m. before closing the tournament against Oral Roberts at 6:30.