LU volleyball team falls to UTPA in five sets
BEAUMONT – In the end, the Lamar
volleyball team didn’t have enough left for another comeback on Monday
afternoon as the Lady Cardinals fell in a 3-2 (23-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-16,
13-15) heartbreaker to Texas-Pan American in the 2013 home opener at McDonald
“It’s hard to take losing the first one at home,” head
coach Justin Gibert said. “Especially because I thought we got off to a great
start, but we just let some games slip away. We had way too many errors today,
and it was just too much to overcome. I did like the resolve the team showed. I
never thought we gave up out there.”
The Lady Cards actually out-hit and out-scored the
visitors from the Western Athletic Conference, but untimely errors proved to be
the difference as LU committed 36 in the attack and 18 from the service line.
After running out to a 22-17 lead in the opening
stanza, the Broncs put together an impressive comeback to win 25-23 and grab
the early advantage. It would prove short-lived, however, as Sierra Whittaker
got rolling in the attack in the second frame, picking up six of her match-high
18 kills en route to a 25-19 decision to even things up.
“I definitely enjoy Sierra’s presence out there, but I
think she needs more practice time,” Gibert said. “We haven’t been able to get
her back from injury yet. Her presence is invaluable, and obviously we’re
better if she’s out there.”
Whittaker picked up four kills and Chelsea Grant added
three blocks in the third, only to see a mammoth comeback fall short, 27-25.
Facing a daunting four consecutive set points at 24-20, Cortney Moore got the
rally started with a kill. Back-to-back attack errors by Bronc hitters Haley
Durham and Anjane Janda brought LU within one, and a block by Whittaker and
Moore evened it up at 24-24. Unfortunately for the Red and White, Erika Rojas
recorded a service error to send the advantage back to the visitors, but a solo
block by Moore made it even once more. It ultimately proved to be too little,
too late as Janda made up for her previous error with a kill, and Whittaker was
pegged with an attack error.
Grant and Moore combined for 17 kills in the match,
and the former posted seven blocks as well, including two of the solo variety.
Rojas ended with three aces and 17 digs.
Whittaker and Moore caught fire in the fourth, coming
together for eight kills, and Beniece Douch added two more as LU coasted to a
25-16 victory to force a deciding frame.
The Lady Cards looked to be in control at one point in
the fifth set, holding onto a 7-5 advantage, but a trio of errors over the
course of the ensuing four points leveled things off at 8-8. After a bad set by
UTPA’s Nycole Mysaki on the next serve, the Broncs ran off five straight points
for a commanding 13-9 lead. Kills by Kensey Camp and Alexa Johnson as well as
an attack error by Alisha Watson pulled LU back within one and forced a pair of
Johnson played the lion’s share of the game at setter,
dishing out a career-best 42 assists with three kills.
However, a Megan Schwartz service error handed two
match points to the opposition. Grant and Johnson fought off the first,
combining for a block, but a scramble at the net fell UTPA’s way moments later
for the 15-13 decision.
Schwartz ended the day with four service aces, and led
the match with 22 digs.
The Lady Cards will return to action later this week
with a tournament at UTSA on Thursday and Friday.
LU volleyball team falls to UTPA in five sets Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT