HUNTSVILLETaylor Cunningham gathered a career-high 29 kills in the Sam Houston State volleyball team’s 3-1 victory over Abilene Christian, Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.

Cunningham, who recorded the most kills in a match by any Southland Conference player this season, tallied the most kills by a Bearkat since standout Carli Kolbe’s 30 kills back in 2011. Breanne Chausse had a dominant match as well as she ground out 13 kills of her own. Caroline Sheaff was the other Bearkat to record double-digit kills with 10 on the day.

Defensively, Madison Wallace led the way with an impressive 22 digs. Cunningham produced 16 digs, followed by Addison Miller and Madilyn Miles with 12 apiece.

FIRST SET (SHSU 25, ACU 17)

After jumping out to an early 4-1 lead, back-to-back aces from Wallace and kills from Cunningham and Sheaff put the Bearkats ahead 8-1. Miles made it a 9-3 set with a service ace and Jordan Kiley followed up with a kill to make it 10-3 in favor of the Bearkats. Sam Houston used a four-point run late in the set to take a commanding, 20-10 lead. After an ACU service error that forced the set point, Amanda Gooch put the final nail in the coffin and closed the set, 25-17, with a solid kill.

SECOND SET (ACU 25, SHSU 22)

The Bearkats and Wildcats battled back and forth throughout the entirety of the second set. ACU bounced back from an early 1-4 deficit and held an 11-8 lead midway through the set. Sam Houston used a three-point and four-point run to retake the lead 18-14, but ACU battled back to claim the set, 25-22. Cunningham had five kills while Chausse tallied three.

THIRD SET (SHSU 25, ACU 22)

The Bearkats jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in set three and went on another 4-0 run later in the match to lead 12-5. Three consecutive kills, one from Cunningham and two from Gooch, gave Sam Houston a comfortable 15-6 lead, but the Wildcats put strung together a five-point run and three-point run to cut SHSU’s lead to just four. However, the Kats maintained composure and used a Chausse Kill and Jaclyn Ward ace to force the set point. After a Sam Houston attack error, ACU’s Katelyn Mueller recorded an attack error of her own to give the Kats a 25-22 win in set three.

FOURTH SET (SHSU 25, ACU 20)

Coming back from a 3-1 deficit to start the fourth set, SHSU and ACU stood neck-and-neck until a service ace from Cunningham made it a 15-12 set in favor of the Bearkats. Following an ACU service error, Cunningham – who had eight kills in the set – delivered a devastating blow to put the Kats up 16-14. Sam Houston used two, separate 2-0 runs to extend its lead, 22-12 and Chausse’s fourth kill of the set closed the set 25-20, giving Sam Houston the 3-1 victory.

COMING UP NEXT

The Bearkats are set to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a 6:30 p.m. matchup on Oct. 9 at Johnson Coliseum. For all the latest information on the Sam Houston State volleyball team, visit gobearkats.com or follow @BearkatsVB on Twitter.