ARLINGTON – The Sam Houston State Bearkats kicked off the Maverick Invitational in style on Friday afternoon, sweeping past Belmont, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21) at College Park Center.
Taylor Cunningham led all players with 13 kills for the Bearkats (6-4), finishing with a double-double with 11 digs to go with four blocks. Madison Wallace showed well at the libero spot once again, keeping alive a match-high 20 digs.
Those efforts helped the Kats hit a solid .214 for the match, but it was the defense that once again did the job. Sam Houston held the Bruins (0-10) to just .093 for the match, the fifth time this season they have held a team under .100 hitting, while no Belmont hitter finished with more than Maggie Mullins’ nine scores.
For the Kats, Jaclyn Ward scored four kills and had 29 assists from her setter spot and found four hitters for at least five kills each in the match. Ashley Lewis got the start and delivered six kills and a pair of blocks, while Jordan Kiley and Amanda Gooch each added five.
Lewis had four of her six kills in the opening set to lead the Kats to a 1-0 lead and one set later Cunningham delivered four of her own and the Kats never trailed as they went up 2-0 with an eight-point win. The senior stayed hot into the third set, landing six of 10 swings and helping Sam Houston hit .344 in the final set.
The Kats will go for their second straight win of the weekend and their third in a row overall when they take on Grand Canyon at 11:00 a.m. They will then close out the weekend, and all of non-conference play, against the host UT Arlington. First serve against the Mavericks is set for 6:30 p.m.