Highlights from Day 1 of the 2011 Comfort Suites/Bearkat Invitational Tournament

by Cheval John

The 2011 Comfort Suites/Bearkat Invitational was held on August 26-27 at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on the campus of Sam Houston State University. University of Texas-Pan American, Louisiana Tech, Rutgers and fellow Southland Conference member Texas A&M-Corpus Christi participated along with the host university, Sam Houston State University. Here are the highlights from Day 1:

Game 1: Sam Houston State (SHSU) defeats the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) 25-14, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21.

SHSU Bearkats defeated UTPA Broncos in four sets by the score of 25-14, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21.

Senior outside hitter Carli Kolbe led the Bearkats with 11 kills and 14 digs in the game.

“Carli gave us spark today,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “It was good to see her carry the team on her shoulders when it was needed.”

Junior transfer outside hitter Kendall Cleveland had 10 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs and an ace in her first game as a Bearkat.

“Kendall balances Carli and it is nice to have two outside hitters who can terminate the ball,” coach Gray said.

“She is a great player,” Kolbe said. “She steps in and does her job really well. We are lucky to have her on the team.”

The Bearkats won the first two sets easily, but lost the third set in the match.

They battle their way through the fourth set that had 9 tie scores and three lead changes. With the score tied at 18-18, Kolbe had a kill that gave them the lead. Freshmen outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson scored the final two points that put the game away for the Bearkats.

“Deveney has that cabality and she showed it today in the game,” coach Gray said.

“We would not have win without Deveney,” Kolbe said. “She had a block and 2 kills. To step up like that as a freshman is very reassuring for us.”

Senior middle blocker Kim Black contributed with 8 blocks and 9 kills, while senior setter Kym Loving had 38 assists and 3 kills.

Game 2: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (TAMCC) defeats Rutgers University 25-16, 25-23, 25-21

Fellow Southland Conference member TAMCC Islanders defeated Rutgers Scarlet Knights in straight sets 25-16, 25-23, 25-21.

Sophomore middle blocker Brooke Alverson led the Islanders with 9 kills, 3 blocks and 4 digs, while senior outside hitter Jessica Korda and junior opposite hitter Shannon Hullum each contributed with 6 kills.

Sophomore outside hitter and Bryan/College Station native Tiffany Regmund led the Scarlet Knights with 8 kills and 7 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Brittany Bozzino and junior middle blocker Alex Jones each had 6 kills.

Game 3: UTPA defeats Louisiana Tech (LATech) 29-27, 25-21, 25-23

UTPA Broncos defeated LATech Techsters in straight sets by the score of 29-27, 25-21, 25-23.

Junior outside hitter Ijanae Holman led the Broncos with 12 kills, 10 digs and a block, while junior middle blocker Sarah Davis followed with 9 kills and 3 blocks.

Sophomore outside hitter Clara Vido and junior transfer outside hitter Marcella Braz led the Techsters with 9 kills a piece. Freshman right side hitter Anne Marie Taylor was third on the team with 7 kills while sophomore middle blocker and Huntsville native Caitlin Germany had 6 kills.

Game 4: SHSU Bearkats defeats Rutgers Scarlet Knights 25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22

The Bearkats defeated the Scarlet Knights in four sets 25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22.

Outside hitter Carli Kolbe led the Bearkats with 11 kills, 15 digs, 3 assists an ace and a block.

“Carli is one of our true leaders,” setter/defensive specialist Tayler Gray said. “She is a gamer and when the lights are on, she is ready to play.”

Middle blocker Kim Black had 9 kills, 9 blocks and 2 aces while setter Kym Loving had 31 assists, 5 kills, 8 digs, 6 blocks and an ace.

The Bearkats won the first two sets in the game, but lost the third set in the match.

The fourth set was a battle between the two teams with 6 tie scores and one lead change. Sophomore middle blocker Haley Neisler had two key kills that put the game away for the Kats.

“Haley did an excellent job tonight,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “She runs complete slides and blocks very well. That is what she’s there for.”

“She is consistent and when we really need her, she steps up,” Kolbe said.

Middle blocker Alex Jones led the Scarlet Knights with 15 kills, 6 digs, 4 blocks and an ace while outside hitter Tiffany Regmund had 13 kills, 10 digs and a block.

Highlights from Day 2 of the tournament will be posted tomorrow.

About Cheval John

Cheval John is the founder/reporter of Vallano Media, LLC, an online media company that is dedicated to sports and travel. In addition, he is a freelance writer, blogger and radio show host. You can visit his website at www.chevaljohn.com to see samples of his work.

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