Bearkat volleyball defends home winning streak

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The Bearkats defeated Southeastern Louisiana in three straight sets, continuing their undefeated at-home status.

SHSU started off strong with a 6-0 lead.

Sarah Friedman ended the Bearkats’ long rally with a kill down the line.

The Bearkats stretched their lead to 13-8 and the Lions ended the rally yet again, with a kill from Parrie Hartley. Senior outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson completed the set with a hard-hitting kill, winning 25-20.

Southeastern took the first lead of the second set 0-1 after SHSU sophomore Claire Kilpatrick served out of bounds. The majority of the set was back and forth with Southeastern taking another lead at 4-5. Freshman Brooke White came in for sophomore Breanna Homer in the front row as an outside hitter.

Rally after rally, the Lions won a crucial point at 16-14.

The Bearkats extended their lead to 22-19 before Southeastern took another timeout. The Lions couldn’t hold on much longer as Wells-Gibson ended the set with another kill at 25-21.

In the third and final set, the Lions took the first point again. They took their second lead after Wells-Gibson hit the ball outside of the antenna.

After the Bearkats got the ball back, sophomore Shelby Genung missed a serve.

With back to back service errors from both teams, coaches started making adjustments.

Senior Cherise Coleman came in for Carling Urben at 8-9. The Lions’ Rachael Bunn had back-to-back kills pushing them ahead with two points. SHSU took a timeout and then came bouncing back to regain the lead 12-10.

The game was tied at 18-18, and Bunn ended the Bearkats’ long run with a block on Wells-Gibson from the back row.

Southeastern took their final timeout at 23-20 and Wells-Gibson shut down the set once more with a powerful kill 25-21.

Southeastern’s offense was led by Sarah Friedman with 12 kills. The second leading scorers for the Lions were Rachael Bunn and Elizabeth Ramee totaling seven kills. Morgan Todd ran the Lions’ defense with 16 digs. Mikayla Shippy finished with 31 total attempts.

Wells-Gibson led the Bearkats to the 3-0 victory with 17 kills. Freshman Jordyn Vaughn came shy with 10 kills. Genung sparked throughout the match totaling eight kills.

Kilpatrick had 13 digs and junior Michelle Griffith finished with 37 assists.

There were a total of 20 tied scores, 12 of which appeared in the third set. There were only eight lead changes the entire match.

Head coach Brenda Gray said that Southeastern is a different team and her girls didn’t adjust as quickly as they wanted to.

Wells-Gibson agreed and said “it took us until the third set to adjust to them. They did a good job of exploiting our weaknesses as well. They can really do some damage to other teams if they wanted to.”

Southeastern moves down to 6-7 in SLC play, with an overall record of 9-16.

SHSU remain undefeated at home (11-0) and move their record up to 10-3 in SLC and 17-9 overall. They are currently ranked number three in the SLC.

The Bearkats will finish their home season and host the University of New Orleans on Saturday.

First serve will beckon at 2 p.m. after Seniors Wells-Gibson and Krista Koopman are recognized.