Two-time All-Southland Conference outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson started the 2014 season on a roll as she led the Bearkats to victories over both the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Mississippi State.
The Bearkats dispatched the ULM Warhawks in the opening match of the Sam Houston Volleyball Invitational Friday afternoon 25-16 25-21 25-22 in an hour and 23 minutes. Wells-Gibson led both teams with 14 kills.
The senior totaled 25 kills in the win over the Bulldogs Friday night as SHSU won 25-14 19-25 25-14 25-14.
“I like this team. They’re feisty,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “They got a little nervous at times today but they did well. We have a lot of different combinations we can make with this
In Friday’s first game, Shelby Genung added seven kills as the Bearkats out-pointed ULM 44-36. Michelle Griffith assisted on 32 of Sam Houston’s 37 kills in her first match as the team’s starting setter.
Wells-Gibson and libero Claire Kilpatrick led the defense with nine digs apiece.
With the first set tied 7-7, a kill by Wells-Gibson started a 6-2 run by Sam Houston. The Warhawks could never come closer than four points the rest of the set.
ULM jumped out to a 12-6 lead in the second set, but Sam Houston rallied to win 19 of the next 28 points to go up two sets to one. The Bearkats trailed only once in the third set.
Sam Houston started fast in the victory over Mississippi State, never trailing in the first set and up 13-9 in the second. But the Bulldogs rallied to take the second stanza 25-19.
The Kats found their rhythm again in the final two sets, never trailing again.
Wells-Gibson’s 25 kills came on 54 attempts. She also led the Kats against the Bulldogs with 18 digs. Genung and Homer each added eight kills.
Griffith assisted on 47 of Sam Houston’s 56 kills.
The Bearkats return to action Saturday at 2 p.m. facing Bakersfield then end the tournament at 7 p.m. against UTPA.
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