HUNTSVILLE – Senior Taylor Cunningham led the Bearkats with 13 kills as the Sam Houston State volleyball team rolled through the Lamar Cardinals in three straight sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-18) to earn its first conference sweep of the season, Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.
Cunningham, who finished with a .462 hitting percentage, picked up one solo block and was a part of five paired blocks. Following closely, freshman Breanne Chausse came alive with 10 kills in 21 attempts.
Coming back from an early 1-3 deficit in the first set, Sam Houston strung together four consecutive points to take its first lead of the match. Maintaining the lead, the Kats road an eight-point run that saw kills from both Jordan Kiley and Cunningham – giving Sam Houston an 18-8 lead. Lamar tried to make a comeback with four straight points, but a kill from Chausse closed out the match, 25-15, in favor of the Kats.
The two teams battled back-and-forth to begin the second set, but a Kiley kill and four consecutive Cardinal errors gave the Kats a solid, 15-7 advantage. Sam Houston maintained the momentum and used multiple kills from Jaclyn Ward and Cunningham to clinch the second set, 25-15.
The Kats broke through and won the opening point of the third set after Cunningham delivered a monster kill from Ward. Gaining a little separation, three straight Lamar errors gave Sam Houston a 10-6 lead nearing the halfway point. Broken up by just one Sam Houston point, Lamar picked up six quick points to force a timeout.
Returning from the break with a narrow 18-17 lead, the Kats combined four kills with three Cardinal errors to win the third and final set, 25-18.
With the 3-0 win, Sam Houston improves to 10-4 on the season and 2-0 in Southland Conference play. The Kats continue league action on Thursday, Sept. 27 at UIW in San Antonio, Texas.