THIBODAUX, La. – Taylor Cunningham delivered 21 kills and the Sam Houston State Bearkats stayed among the leaders in the Southland Conference with a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-19) win over Nicholls on Thursday night at Stopher Gym.
The Bearkat (13-5, 5-1 SLC) senior middle blocker reached at least 20 kills for the fourth time in six league matches this season, and was efficient once again with just three errors on 38 swings (.474), while adding a dozen digs and six blocks.
That effort helped the Kats hit a solid .238 for the night, while its league-leading defense did its part as well, holding Nicholls (3-18, 1-7 SLC) to just .131 hitting for the night.
Breanne Chausse rebounded from a tough offensive match on Tuesday to add 12 kills to the Bearkat total, misfiring just three times on 23 tries (.391), while backing up her season-high six blocks on Tuesday with another five on Thursday.
In all, the Kats would reject 14 Colonel shots in just three sets with Courtney Littlefield playing a big part in that with five blocks in her most extensive action of the season to date. Jaclyn Ward added 24 assists to her season total, while Madison Wallace had a team-high 12 digs and a pair of service aces.
The Kats used defense to stake itself to a 1-0 lead, holding the Colonels to just .057 hitting in the opening frame. But the second set was different as Nicholls used a surge midway through the set to build up a 22-17 lead.
From there the Kats scored three straight points to cut the lead to three and eventually fought off a set point before tying it up on a kill from Cunningham and taking the lead on an ace by Addison Miller. Cunningham then closed it out with her 14th kill of the match, to put the Kats up 2-0 at the break.
The third set saw the Colonels make things interesting as a kill from Kimberly Iwunze had Nicholls ahead 15-14. But a service error immediately followed and SHSU followed that up with three straight points and never looked back, scoring five of the final six points of the match to close it out.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Bearkats as they continue their stretch of six matches in 12 days. They will travel to New Orleans for a Saturday meeting with the Privateers at 1 p.m.before returning home for three matches next week.