HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats will wrap up non-conference play this weekend when they travel to the home of a former conference foe for three matches at the UT Arlington Maverick Invitational.
All matches will be played at the College Park Center on the campus of UT Arlington, and fans will be able to follow each match via live stats or by following @BearkatsVB on Twitter. The Kats’ Sarturday match vs UTA will also be streamed on UTAMavs.com.
Taylor Cunningham was named to the all-tournament team for the third straight week last week at the GSU Invitational, and she is approaching the 1,000-kill club at SHSU with 932 for her career going into Friday. She exploded for a career-high 23 kills in last weekend’s finale vs Chicago State, and currently leads the Kats in kills (3.30 kps) and blocks (0.97 bps) while ranking third in digs (3.33 dps).
Jaclyn Ward dished out a season-high 45 assists in that match and earned her way onto the all-tournament team as well, while Madison Wallace dug 20 balls in that win over the Panthers. The Kats have gotten solid play out of freshman Breanne Chausse who is hitting .287 with 2.30 kills per set this year.
The Bruins have had a rough go of it in the early season, opening up 0-9 against a tough non-conference schedule. Senior Maggie Mullins leads Belmont in kills with 70, followed by sophomores Halee Van Poppel and Mackenzie LePage who have contributed 45 and 41, respectively. Freshman Carly Mason leads in assists (197) and digs (62).
Scouting Grand Canyon
GCU is coming off a pair of wins at the Blue Hen Invitational where it recorded wins over Columbia and Marist, but dropped a matches five-set match to host Delaware. Kayla Redfield leads four Lopes with four double-doubles, followed by Melody Horton with three of her own. They have won two of three matches in each of their first three weekends, with their losses coming at Idaho, at home to Boston College.
Scouting UT Arlington
The Mavericks have won four matches in a row heading into the weekend, including consecutive sweeps of Incarnate Word and Binghamton. It’s been a balanced attack with the tandem of Madison Hill and Zhanelle Geathers leading the way. Hill has knocked down a team-high 62 kills this season, while Geathers is right on her heels with 61. The efficiency has resulted in Hill moving up to third in the Sun Belt and 62nd in the nation with a .380 hitting percentage, while Geathers is approaching the 1,000-kill club with 954 in her career which makes her 70th among NCAA active leaders in Division I.