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LU Volleyball has win streak snapped by NSU

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BEAUMONT – It was a hard-fought battle, but Northwestern State was able to surge late and hand the Lamar University volleyball squad a 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 9-15) loss in Southland Conference play at McDonald Gym Saturday afternoon. The loss was the first of the season at home for LU.

After they dropped their first set, the Cardinals (3-14, 3-2 Southland Conference) worked it back for a 2-1 lead after big wins in the second and third. Tied in the fourth set, the Lady Demons gained control of the match and finished out strong.

In the fourth, Northwestern State used a 5-2 run that helped turn an 11-11 tie into a 16-13 LU deficit. Lamar got the set back to 16-15, but couldn’t get enough to overtake the Lady Demons again. Errors really hurt Big Red in the fourth set, it only earned 14.5 points but gave away 11 errors (eight attacking and three service).

The fifth set was just a continuation of the fourth in teams of errors. Only needing 15 points to win, the Lady Demons took advantage of five LU attack errors, two service errors and bench red card.

The second set went back-and-forth and neither team could put together a run of more than three, until the 24th point. NSU (10-12, 5-2) used a three-point run to grab a 5-2 lead, but Murielle Hlavac snapped it with a kill. Dannisha House popped a kill to tie the second at seven, and a NSU attack error and kill from Chelsea Grant polished off the three point rally.

Eventually, the Lady Demons held a 20-19 lead and Ivette Dim powered down a kill to tie the match, which opened a five-point run for the Cards and pushed them to the second set win.

Up 21-20 after a Hlavac ace, Northwestern State came out of a timeout with a ball handling error from setter Natalie Jaeger and Grant came up with another kill to make it 23-20. NSU called its second timeout of the game and Dim and Grant teamed up for a block to record the final point of the run. NSU was able to get two more points before the end of the set, but a block from Grant ended it.

The third set was another close contest tied at 15, but the Cardinals doubled up the Lady Demons with a 10-5 run to end it. The kills leaders for Lamar in the match, Grant and Hlavac, led that surge with two kills apiece, along with Tomar Thomas.

For the 15th match, fifth straight, Grant led the Cardinals in kills, 17, and was followed by Hlavac at 16. House, who had eight kills, led the way with a .500 attack percentage on 14 attempts, followed by Halvac at .382 on 34. Haley Morton continued her double-double run, third-straight, with 52 assists and 13 digs. The 52 assists was her career best.

Hlavac also chimed in with a double-double to lead the way with 14 digs, followed by Morton and Carlyn Stella’s 13. Lauren Stahlman had 11 digs and Monica Stroschein had 10.

NSU Alexis Warren led the match with 18 kills, and also recorded a double-double on 11 digs.

For the match, Lamar hit for a .181 hitting percentage, its worst of the last three contests. Despite the loss, the Cardinals tallied the most kills they’ve had in a match all year (61).

The match ended the short homestand for LU, which now heads to Incarnate Word Thursday at 7 p.m. before it’s at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday at 1 p.m. The next match at McDonald Gym is against Abilene Christian at 7 p.m. Oct 18.

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