Sam Houston State (17-12, 11-5) finished third in the West Division and earned the No. 3 seed. The Bearkats finished the regular season with four consecutive wins and look to carry momentum into the tournament after losing in the opening round last year.
Sam Houston is faces No. 6 seed UT Arlington (12-18, 8-8) at 1:30 p.m. The Mavericks, who eliminated the Bearkats last year, are making their conference-leading 28th tournament appearance. UTA has made it to 15 championship matches and will be seeking its 11th tournament title.
The Bearkats totaled 46 kills in 110 attempts with only 16 errors. Setter Kym Loving assisted on 36 of the Bearkats' kills.
Kim Black totaled three blocks and had nine kills. Hawkins added 13 digs defensively.
Taylor Bustamento led McNeese with seven kills. The Cowgirls finished the year 10-20 and produced a 5-11 Southland mark.