Sugar Bears Narrowly Defeat Bearkats 3-2

Over 350 people were in attendance at the Prince Center on Sept. 23 to see the UCA Sugar Bears. keep their conference streak alive with their 3-2 victory over the Sam Houston State Bearkats.
The Sugar Bears raised their overall record to 10-6, while the Bearkats fell to an overall record of 6-10. The Bearkats, looking for their first conference win, battled the Sugar Bears hard with each set going back in forth between the two teams until the fifth set when the Sugar Bears, never trailing, closed it.
“Sam Houston played hard and on all cylinders, but we played well overall and we’re going to outplay our opponent every time,” UCA senior right side hitter Chloe Smith said.
Smith hit for 400 and also led the Sugar Bears in kills with a season high of 22.
The Sugar Bears took an early lead in the first set but the Bearkats were able to come back and tie it 22-22. There would be seven more ties until the Bearkats took the lead and were able to close the first set with a kill by Bearkats junior outside hitter Carli Kolbe.
The second set began with both teams going back and forth until the Sugar Bears were able to pull away ending the set 25-17. The Sugar Bears led the third set 21-19 until the Bearkats went on a 6-2 run ending the set 22-25. This put the Bearkats up one set again, but it was the last time they led for the rest of the game.
The Sugar Bears took an early 5-1 lead in the fourth set, but the Bearkats did not give up and up were able to stay close with the Sugar Bears. Sugar Bears freshman outside hitter Karlie Geisler, helped the Sugar Bears by getting six kills on seven tries earning the Bears the set 25-23. The Sugar Bears gained momentum and were able to win the fifth set 25-10.
UCA recorded five team blocks against the Bearkats but ended up out hitting Sam Houston State .224 to .239 with a 66-65 kill advantage and lead in aces 10-6. Sugar Bears junior outside hitter Jessica Hays would record 18 kills, nine digs and a career high seven service aces. Sugar Bears Freshman setter Marrissa Collins earned her first career double-double with 54 assist and 10 digs. Sugar Bears junior libero Cristin Curl recorded 17 digs and Sugar Bears freshman defensive specialist Beth Rodgers would record 7 digs with her first career start.
“It was a great win for us. Sam Houston has a good team and they played extremely well. We had to pick up our level of play. This was the first time we have had to play five sets this season and it was nice to see the team do well under pressure and come out with the victory,” Coach Steven McRoberts said.
The Sugar Bears were able to keep and extend their conference streak to 24 wins. They were also able to extend their home win streak to 20. Both streaks date back to 2008.
The Sugar Bears defended both of their streaks in their game against the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks on Sept. 25 where the Sugar Bears defeated the Ladyjacks 3-1.

Sugar Bears play four teams this weekend

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