It was almost fitting that Tuesday night’s match against Northwestern State went to five games.It was, after all, the final home match for the graduating seniors.
“I tried not to get emotional,” said senior Jennifer Henrichsen.”The last four years have gone by quicker then I expected.”
The Bearkats rallied behind the senior leadership and beat the Northwestern State Demons by scores of 16-30, 30-27, 30-25, 26-30 and 15-5. Their conference record stands at 13-4, good enough to hold onto second place.
The Bearkats faced early problems as the Demons came out swinging and took control. After the first game, it seemed like the Bearkats were clawing their way back in, but those hopes for a four game match quickly dissolved when Shannon Puder put the Kats away in the fourth.
“We needed a match like this,” said coach Brenda Gray.”The real Sam came out in game five.”
In that game, Henrichsen made the switch from defense to offense as she went back to her old position at outside hitter.The change made a huge difference in the way the Bearkats carried themselves in that game, and it was proven on the court as the Kats ran away with game five in exciting fashion.
Leading the way for the Bearkats was Cynthia Yarotsky with 20 kills. Seniors Alisha Fowler and Chrissy Engle both totaled double digit kills.
When playing on the defensive side of the ball, Henrichsen led the way with 23 digs.
This weekend, the Kats have another Southland Conference road trip as they take on McNeese State and Lamar in the two final games of the regular season.If the Bearkats can hold on, they will enter the conference tournament as the second seed.Tournament play begins on Nov. 18.The
Bearkats look to take Tuesday’s momentum into the tournament.
“This team showed true grit, especially with the older core,” Gray said. “When we get to the tournament, this team is not going down without a fight.”
SLC StandingsStephen F. Austin 24-2, 16-0Sam Houston State 14-11, 12-4Texas State 14-11, 12-4Texas- San Antonio 15-9, 11-5McNeese State 14-9, 9-5Louisiana-Monroe 14-13, 7-8Northwestern State 9-14, 7-8Lamar 7-18, 5-8Southeastern LA 6-19, 2-13Texas-Arlington 4-20, 2-13Nicholls State 0-16, 0-15