Courtesy: Southland Conference
CONWAY, Ark. – No. 2 Sam Houston State earned a trip to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 win over No. 3 Northwestern State inside the Farris Center in Conway, Ark. The Bearkats were led by double-digit kill figures from Ashley Lewis (15), Breanne Chausse (14) and Catherine Krieger (10).
Sam Houston State stole the opening set by a final score of 25-22 after six kills from sophomore right side hitter Chausse. The Bearkats combined for a .289 hitting percentage while limiting the Lady Demons’ offense to a .171 attack average. SHSU’s Morgan Janda, Ashleigh Traylor and Addison Miller each presented three digs to help thwart Hannah Brister’s six kills.
Brister and Alexis Warren upped the ante in set two, combining for 10 of Northwestern State’s 15 kills as the Lady Demons registered a .275 hitting mark. The Bearkats’ defense stepped up for the challenge, however, and employed 17 digs, led by six from Miller. Offense proved to be the difference maker for Sam Houston State as Lewis tacked on seven more kills to push the Bearkats to a .350 attack percentage in the 25-23 win.
Northwestern State came storming back with a 25-23 victory in the third set, avoiding the sweep and extending the match to a fourth set. Brister produced six of the Lady Demons’ 17 kills along with seven digs to limit the Bearkats to a .146 hitting percentage. Wilson and Darria Williams provided the statement punches for Northwestern State, scoring the final two points in a set that featured 12 ties and six lead changes.
SHSU matched its best offensive performance in the final set, ringing up 17 more team kills on the shoulders of Lewis and Krieger who combined for nine successful attacks. NSU reached for a late comeback after back-to-back kills from Brister cut the Lady Demon deficit to 24-22. The Bearkats persisted, however, and concluded the set with a 25-22 victory in order to seal the 3-1 match win.
Sam Houston State moves on to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship where it will face the winner of No. 1 Stephen F. Austin and No. 4 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Opening serve is slated for a 3:05 p.m. CT inside the Farris Center in Conway, Ark. The match will be an exclusive presentation of ESPN+, available via ESPNPlus.com and the ESPN app.