The Huskies will return to action at home for the Dig Pink match against McNeese State at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23. They will then hit the road to face Nicholls State on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.- Return to top – Central Arkansas 3, Sam Houston State 2CONWAY, Ark. – The Central Arkansas volleyball team returned to the court at the Prince Center on Saturday afternoon, hosting Sam Houston State. The Sugar Bears and Bearkats played a hotly-contested match, trading the first four sets, before Central Arkansas took the fifth set 15-11 to secure the 3-2 victory. “I think that was a crucial win,” Hernesman said. “Even talking with their staff afterwards, we both knew this would be a big step in qualifying for the conference tournament for whoever won this match. It’s a step closer which is the ultimate goal for us to get there and be playing our best volleyball in November. To take care of your home court when you know how hard it is to win on the road is so important.” The Islanders bounced back in the second set to win 25-13 and even the match at 1-1. A&M-Corpus Christi recorded a perfect sideout percentage and hit .267, while holding ACU to .000 hitting. The Islanders surged out to an 8-3 lead after Nicholson and Gilpin teamed up for a block assist. After back-to-back blocks by the Islanders extended their lead to 11-4, A&M-Corpus Christi kept things rolling to pad its lead to 11 at 20-9 after scoring five straight. The Islanders eventually finished off the set at 25-13 after a kill by Nicholson. Central Arkansas hits the road for a three game road-trip starting Tuesday. The Sugar Bears travel to Corpus Christi, Texas on Tuesday to take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7:00 PM. UCA will then take on Northwestern State at 7:00 PM on Thursday night before wrapping up the road swing at Stephen F. Austin at 1:00 PM on Saturday afternoon.- Return to top – The hitting clinic was put on thanks in large part to senior Paige Holland. The setter was able to find her hitters all over the court and recorded 36 assists in the match overall. Holland also dumped in four kills of her own and had four digs for SFA. Senior Jill Ivy recorded nine kills in the match to pass MC Bottles (2008-11) for 10th on SFA’s all-time career kills list. With 280 kills so far in 2014, Ivy sits at 1,261 over her four-year career – 39 kills shy of Traci Rohde (2004-07) for ninth all-time. Sophomore Justice Walker, the Ladyjacks’ hottest hitter over the last two weeks, joined Ivy with a big afternoon offensively. She posted a match-high 12 kills, committed just one error and hit at a .688 clip. While a force on offense, Walker also led the team with six blocks on the afternoon. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3, Abilene Christian 1ABILENE, Texas – Four Islanders finished in double-digit kills to lead the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-27, 25-13, 25-15, 25-21) victory over Abilene Christian today in Moody Coliseum. Senior Brianna Brink propelled the Islanders’ offense with her eighth double-double of the year to help the Islanders improve to 5-2 in Southland play. Despite the momentum from the big 25-15 win in set three, NSU struggled in the outset of set four but in typical team fashion, responded in a huge way. Northwestern State 3, Southeastern Louisiana 1NATCHITOCHES, La. – Northwestern State volleyball utilized a comeback victory in set four and three straight set wins to capture a 3-1 victory (14-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-23) over Southeastern Louisiana at Prather Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. – Return to top – – Return to top – NSU finished with a total of 12 service aces against the Lady Lions (7-13, 4-4 SLC), their second most on the season and highest number since recording 17 against Mississippi Valley State on Aug. 30. SHSU’s Deveney Wells-Gibson turned in a match-high 24 kills, but three Central Arkansas players recorded double-digit kills. Evie Singleton had a team-high 22 kills, while Heather Schnars added 19 and Megan Nash added ten. Kristine Hjembo keyed the Sugar Bear attack by dishing out a match-high 47 assists. Shelbee Berringer and Corri Hunt had a team-high 12 digs, and Schnars earned her fourth double-double of the season by tallying 10 digs of her own. Central Arkansas, who out-blocked Sam Houston State 14 to 6, was led by Nash, who had two solos and four assists. In the third set, the Cardinals took the lead by scoring the first two points. A kill by senior outside hitter Bailey Keith made the set 2-1, but UIW kept their lead until a kill by Wooten kept HBU close 6-5. The Cardinals then kept their lead again by the most of four; however, the Huskies scored back to make the set 10-9. Although UIW kept their lead for most of the set, HBU tied it up 20-20 toward the end. The Huskies pulled through in order to take the match 25-23. Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Wooten recorded a double-double for HBU (9-12, 4-3 SLC) with 20 kills and 12 digs. Senior outside hitter Megan McStravick had 15 kills and nine digs for the Huskies. Freshman middle blocker Blair Gillard recorded three block assists for HBU. McNeese (11-12, 2-6 SLC) used a .261 hitting percent in the opening set to take an early lead in the 25-19 first set win. McNeese State 3, Nicholls 0LAKE CHARLES, La. – A week off proved to be beneficial for the McNeese volleyball team who picked up their second Southland Conference victory of the season with a straight set (25-19, 25-22, 25-13) win over Nicholls Saturday. “The last couple of weeks at practice Abby has really started to get things going,” Humphreys said. “Today was really big for her – to go in, have some success and play at that same high level was great to see.” Junior OJ Olson led the way with 15 digs and Bates also chipped in five rejections at the net to join Walker in the SFA block. The Cowgirls closed out the match and picked up its first Southland Conference straight set win with a 25-13 third set win. Sophomore Rebecca Korenek led the Cowgirls with 10 kills. Amber Fryer chipped in with eight kills and led McNeese with a .300 attack percent. Malina Sanchez led the Cowgirls with 10 digs while DeMarque led all players with four blocks. Freshman Abby McIntyre had a huge day for SFA off the bench, going 6-for-6 on the attack in two sets played. The Cardinals out-blocked the Huskies 8-6. HBU outhit UIW 54-39. The Huskies out-dug the Cardinals 45-38. McNeese opened the second set with two service aces by Malina Sanchez but Nicholls came back to take the lead 11-10 and extended it to 21-15. McNeese’s defense stepped up as did its offense to come back to tie the set a 22. A Nicholls attack error gave the Cowgirls a 23-22 lead before a Carly DeMarque kill McNeese a 24-22 lead. A block by DeMarque and Shelby Poehls gave the Cowgirls the second set win. Kaitlyn Brooks recorded 19 assists and 12 digs for UIW. Angelique Vidaurri had 17 kills and four block assists for the Cardinals. Taylor McClelland had 14 assists for UIW. Bryaunea Hall had a match-high of six block assists for the Cardinals, while Hope Kelley recorded three block assists for UIW. The Islanders (12-12, 5-2 SLC) fell short in the first set, 27-25, after a late comeback. A&M-Corpus Christi opened with an early lead before ACU answered back to take a 10-8 lead on a 3-0 run. The Islanders then evened things up at 11-11 after straight kills by Baresh and Gilpin. However, the Wildcats garnered the lead for good after pushing ahead 13-11. ACU maintained their lead but the Islanders gained a spark after a timeout and a kill by the Wildcats at 23-18. A&M-Corpus Christi followed with a 4-0 run to pull within one at 23-22. After a kill by ACU, Gilpin followed with a kill and an attacking error by the Wildcats evened the set at 24-24. After exchanging points, ACU scored two straight to seal a 27-25 victory. – Return to top – The Islanders will return home for a three-match homestand at the Dugan Wellness Center. First up is a Tuesday night match against two-time defending Southland Conference champions Central Arkansas in the annual Dig Pink match. First serve is set for 7 p.m. Sam Houston State (12-8, 5-2 SLC) took the first set 25-23 before Central Arkansas (14-7, 9-0 SLC) rebounded to win the second set 26-24. The Bearkats took a 2-1 lead in the match following a 25-21 victory in the third set. The Sugar Bears responded by winning the final set 15-11. Central Arkansas 3, Sam Houston State 2Stephen F. Austin 3, New Orleans 0McNeese State 3, Nicholls 0Houston Baptist 3, UIW 0Northwestern State 3, Southeastern Louisiana 1Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3, Abilene Christian 1 Next up, the Lady Demons travel to Nacogdoches, Texas to face rival Stephen F. Austin. The match will take place Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. from Shelton Gym. “I feel like we came in and did exactly what we needed to do today,” said head coach Debbie Humphreys. “We continued to execute at a really high level on our side of the court. That was our biggest focus coming into this match.” The Ladyjacks (15-7, 8-0 SLC) turned in their most efficient hitting performance of the season, swinging .487 in the attack for the match. The impressive mark shattered the previous season-high of .368 set against New Orleans back on Sept. 12. SFA committed just six attacking errors in the match – also a season-best. Brink posted 17 kills and 14 digs while Ashley Phelps, Brittany Gilpin and Kirstee McGarva chipped in 10 kills apiece. It marked a career high for McGarva. Kristyn Nicholson passed out 33 assists while Chelby Stanford dished out 17. The Islanders who currently lead the nation in digs registered 87 in the match and held the Wildcats (2-19, 0-8 SLC) to .072 hitting. Hailey King powered the defense with 24 digs, while Ivy Baresh collected 22 and Wall added 10. At the net, Kelsee Felux notched five block assists to lead the team. Defensively, Bailey Martin was a force for NSU, grabbing 21 digs and providing some key first touches. After sitting out last match with a personal illness, DiFrancesco added 11 digs and some key defensive play Offensively, Emily Johnson finished with 23 assists followed by Natalie Jaeger’s 17. Houston Baptist 3, UIW 0SAN ANTONIO, Texas – HBU sophomore setter Kayla Armer led the Huskies with a match-high of 47 assists in their 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-23) win over the UIW Saturday afternoon. The Ladyjacks have a big week upcoming as they host Northwestern State, Sam Houston State and Lamar on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday respectively. SFA will meet the Lady Demons of NWLA in Shelton Gym on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. to start the home stretch. After calling a timeout trailing by four, the Lady Demons rebounded following one central message. “I think all too often people try to make too many adjustments,” Hernesman said. “I felt like we had the right game plan. I felt like they were just making plays. You have to trust that your defense is going to make a play here and there and it takes a big play to spark some of that. The message was to stay patient and do what we do.” The Ladyjacks held the Privateers (6-17, 0-9 SLC) to a .033 hitting percentage on the day and service pressure was a huge factor. SFA got eight service aces in the match, including three from junior Tori Bates. “They are a physical team and we knew that coming in,” fifth-year co-head coach Hugh Hernesman said. “We’ve played against some physical teams but that doesn’t make it any easier. I thought we did a good job of making some adjustments especially in rotation. Our middles were outstanding. They won the match for us today.” – Return to top – In the fourth set, the Wildcats built an early lead before the Islanders tied the set at 10-10 after scoring four straight. The Islanders kept trimming away at ACU’s lead and eventually pulled away on a 4-0 run at 14-12. During the run Phelps and Brink put down back-to-back kills. A&M-Corpus Christi maintained its lead until ACU rallied back to knot the set at 17-17 with three straight points. After tying two more times, the Islanders put together a 3-0 run with kills by Nicholson and Phelps to push ahead at 22-19. After battling back-and-forth, A&M-Corpus Christi received a kill by Felux, an ace by Wall and an attacking error by the Wildcats to secure the win. “What we got out of our service game was real good,” Hernesman said. “In that third set early when we went down three or four, Stacey (DiFrancesco) went back to the line and we caught them in a tough rotation and she started short serving them in a spot they just couldn’t handle. That got us back in that third set and built momentum into the fourth.” In the second set, the Cardinals scored the first three points to take the lead for the set. However, HBU managed to come back to tie the set 3-3. Once UIW scored the next point, a kill by Gillard tied the set again 4-4. The Huskies then kept their lead until the Cardinals scored to tie the set 12-12. After a kill by McStravick, HBU then scored to keep their lead until the very end of the set when UIW tied up 24-24. A kill by Doerpinghaus kept their lead by one, but a kill by Wooten led the Huskies to win this set 26-24. In the first set, HBU broke the tie 4-4 by scoring six straight points to take the lead 10-4. The Cardinals then attempted to come back by making the set 17-9, but the Huskies scored two to make the set 19-11 with kills by junior middle blocker Allison Doerpinghaus and McStravick. HBU then kept the lead to win the set 25-11. In the win, NSU (9-12, 6-2 Southland Conference) received tremendous play from middle blockers Mackenzie Neely and Glynna Johnson who made their impact on the offensive end each tallying 11 kills. “In the fourth set, it was kind of how we’ve been the last couple years,” Hernesman said. “I think it was 14-18 or 14-19 and I never really felt uncomfortable. I knew there was pressure there but we perform well in those situations. It was a little bit of a trademark defensive run for us there.” Stephen F. Austin 3, New Orleans 0NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin women’s volleyball team excelled in every phase of the game on Saturday afternoon to run away with a straight set victory over New Orleans (25-12, 25-15, 25-11) in Shelton Gym. At the midway point in the Southland Conference season, the Ladyjacks are a perfect 8-0 and have won 24 of 25 sets. It is the best start in conference for SFA since 2007. “Today got us halfway through the conference schedule,” Humphreys said. “We’ve had a very successful first half but there’s a lot of volleyball remaining. One of the reasons we’re improving at such a fast pace this season is our depth that you saw today. We have quality players on the other side of the net every single day in practice so we get to compete at a high level every day.” A&M-Corpus Christi carried over their momentum into the third set to secure a 25-15 victory. The Islanders jumped out to an 8-2 lead after consecutive kills by McGarva and Brink. The Islanders then extended their lead to 14-4 on a 6-1 run after an ace by Baresh. McGarva then put down a kill at 21-11 before an attacking error by ACU at 22-11 sparked the home team on a 4-1 run to cut the Islanders lead to 23-15. However, a kill by Phelps and an attacking error by the Wildcats gave the Islanders the 2-1 match lead. The Islanders hit a set high .333 in the set and held ACU to .000 hitting.