HUNTSVILLE -- Brenda Gray picked up her 501st victory as Sam Houston State head coach Wednesday night, but the win did not come as easily as it first appeared it would.
Off to a fast start, the Bearkats finally won in four games over Texas-Pan
American by a score of 30-10 15-30 30-16 30-26.
Cynthia Yarotsky led the Bearkats with 21 kills. Freshmen Launa McClung and
Lizzy Stuller added 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
Jumping out to a 12-2 lead by winning 11 consecutive points on Katie
Phillips' serve, the Bearkats had an easy time in the first game. Phillips
served six aces during the 11-point run. Later Megan McNamara ran off seven
straight points serving to put the Kats up 26-8.
Sam Houston ended the evening with 12 service aces.
But UTPA bounced back in the second stanza to build an 20-10 lead with 12
kills in 30 attempts. Sam Houston, hot in the first game with 13 kills and
only four errors, committed 11 errors and had just nine kills in the second.
Yarotsky and Phillips got the Kats off to a good start in the third game as
Sam Houston jumped out to an 11-3 lead. UTPA never held the lead in the
The fourth game was tied seven times with the Broncs tying the contest for
the final time at 26-26. But three straight Pan Am errors and a kill by
Yarotsky put the match away.
The contest was the first of a five-match home stand for Sam Houston. The
Bearkats open Southland Conference play Friday night at 7 p.m. by hosting
Sam Houston now stands 5-6 for the season. UTPA fell to 6-11.
Prior to the match, Gray was honored for winning her 500th career match last
Saturday in Dallas against Alcorn State..
A veteran of 24 seasons at the helm of the Bearkat volleyball program, Gray
became only the 28th active coach in NCAA Division I women's volleyball to
post 500 career victories with the win over Alcorn State at the TCU
Gray now holds a 501-338 career record in her 24 seasons at Sam Houston
State. She is one of only 42 active coaches with more than 400 victories