Lauren Bohlen, Tayler Gray and Haley Neisler – the three senior leaders for the 2013 Bearkat volleyball team – will be making their final appearances at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum this weekend.
Sam Houston State plays host to McNeese State Thursday at 7 p.m. and Nicholls State Saturday at 11 a.m. The contributions of the trio will be recognized in a special pregame ceremony Saturday.
Bohlen, Gray and Neisler have been part of four Bearkat teams that have rolled up 70 victories during the past four years, the most wins by any group of seniors since 1997. The three seniors each played important roles on last year’s Southland Conference championship squad, the program’s first title in more than a decade.
They have been members of SHSU squads that have qualified for the league’s post-season tournament each of their four years.
Gray is a four-year starter for the Bearkats. She earned All-Southland honors on last year’s championship team.
The setter from Huntsville enters this week’s action ranked ninth in all-time at Sam Houston with more than 2,200 assists. She also stands among the program’s top 20 players in career digs.
Gray has produced 15 match performances with double figure assists and digs this season. Her season highs include 52 assists in a Southland victory at Abilene Christian and 30 digs in a road match at Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She also has 30 blocks and 16 service aces to her credit.
An Academic All-Southland performer and Academic All-America nominee this year, Tayler sports a 3.82 overall grade point average as a health major.
Neisler also is a four-year start for the Kats. The Flower Mound Marcus product will be playing in her 106th match as a Bearkat Friday. She has totaled 390 kills in 377 sets in her career.
Neisler ranks No. 7 in Sam Houston career blocks with 347. She stands in the top 5 in the Southland and the top 100 in NCAA Division I volleyball this year with 92 blocks this season. Neilser is a general business major.
Bohlen will be playing in her 63rd match as a Bearkat Thursday night. The outside hitter from San Antonio has totaled 135 kills and more than 50 blocks during her career.
She posted a career best of 13 kills against the U.I.W. Cardinals this year.
An Animal Science major, Bohlen was a President’s List Student with a perfect 4 point oh grade point average last spring and holds a 3.92 GPA during her four years at Sam Houston.
With four matches left in the regular season, the Bearkats stand in third place in the 2013 Southland race.
Central Arkansas, 22-3 on the year, is unbeaten in 14 matches to hold down first place. Northwestern State (16-10, 12-2) stands in second place.
Sam Houston (14-9, 11-4) and Oral Roberts (19-5, 11-3) are tied for third. A&M-Corpus Christi (17-10, 11-4) is in fifth place.
McNeese State (14-14, 6-8) enters Thursday’s action tied for eighth in the league race while Nicholls (5-20, 2-13) stands 13th.
Tickets for Sam Houston State volleyball home matches are available online at www.gobearkats.com or at the SHSU athletic ticket office. Call (936) 294-1729 for more information.
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