NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Kendall Cleveland led Sam Houston State with 12 kills as the Bearkats fell to Mississippi State 25-22 25-17 25-16 in the first match at the Sugar Bowl Volleyball Classic Friday at the Hertz Center.
Sam Houston held early leads in each set. There were six ties and three lead changes in each of the three frames.
In the first set, the Bearkats rallied from 21-15 down to cut the margin to two points, 24-22, on a kill by Deveney Wells-Gibson. But MSU took the set on a kille by Lainey Wyman.
Sam Houston was up 9-8 in the second set and 6-5 in the third but could not hold off Mississippi State charges.
Wells-Gibson totaled nine kills and Kaylee Hawkins added five. Tayler Gray assisted on 33 of the Bearkats' 37 kills and also totaled eight digs. Black, Neisler, Cleveland and Hawkins each had a hand in three blocks.