Sugar Bears Open 2015 Season at UNLV Invitational

The Central Arkansas volleyball team opened the 2015 season on Friday night after traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete in the UNLV Invitational. The Sugar Bears opened their tournament appearance against host UNLV, falling 3-1.

Central Arkansas was out-hit in the first set, falling 25-14. The Sugar Bears made a comeback in the second set, but still came up short. Central Arkansas got on the board in the third set, out-hitting the Rebels and taking the set 25-21. The fourth set went to UNLV 25-15, giving them the 3-1 victory.

Senior outside hitter Heather Schnars and freshman middle blocker Samantha Anderson each tallied a team-high 12 kills while hitting .194 and .280, respectively. Senior setter Amy South was crucial to the Sugar Bear’s offense, dishing out 37 assists.

The UCA volleyball team returned to action for a pair of matches at the UNLV on Saturday.

The Sugar Bears split a pair of five set matches on the day, defeating Omaha and falling to Seton Hall.

In their first match of the day, the Sugar Bears fell to Seton Hall (1-1) 3-2. Central Arkansas dropped the first set 25-19, but took the next two sets 25-17 and 25-14. The Pirates bounced back with a 25-23 win in the fourth before securing the match victory with a 15-9 win in the fifth.

Schnars racked up a match-high 20 kills while hitting .311 in the match, and junior outside hitter Rachel Sharp hit .302 while adding 15 kills. South handed out a match-high 46 assists, while Hunt had 15 digs and Allen added eight blocks.The Sugar Bears found themselves behind early in the match against the Omaha Mavericks, as the Mavericks took the first set 25-15.

The Sugar Bears took the third set 25-17 to grab a 2-1 lead in the match. Freshman outside hitter Kellen Dunn turned up to put in a stellar performance, earning six kills on seven attacks. Dunn said Central Arkansas showed a lot of promise for the rest of the season.

“We had several highlight plays throughout each match, and we really finished the tournament on a high note,” she said.

Omaha was not done fighting. They came a back to take the fourth set 25-20 to even the match at two sets apiece and forced a clincher fifth set. Petties ran the Central Arkansas attack in the set, tallying four kills while South handed out 12 assists.

The Sugar Bears limited Omaha on hits to win the set 15-12 and took the match 3-2. Schnars collected all five of Central Arkansas’ kills in the set, and freshman middle blocker Savanah Allen picked up a pair of blocks.

Senior defensive specialist and libero Corri Hunt dug out a match-high 22 attacks. Allen turned in a match-high seven blocks.

Coach Jeni Jones was pleased with this weekend. She stressed that spending preseason game time wisely is the most important thing right now to get better.

“We finished better than we started, and that is certainly progress,” Jones said. “We need to cut down on our unforced errors. We gave way too many unearned points to our opponents.”

The Sugar Bears return to action next weekend in a three-game series on the road in Norman, Oklahoma.

The Sugar Bears will face OU, UNT and UALR in the Oklahoma Nike Invitational.

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