Bearkat Wins First Game In Five Set Thriller
by Cheval John
After months of training, the Bearkat volleyball team were looking forward to their season opener against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in the Bearkat Invitational.
They were ready to show how much they learned in practice.
They knew that they had to earn every point in order to start the season off with a bang.
They did just that as they defeated the Ragin Cajun in five sets 14-25, 25-21, 25-27, 28-26, 15-11.
“We started out a little slow,” senior outside hitter Kendall Cleveland said.
“We needed to get the jitters out. …Once we did that, we went on a roll.”
The Raging Cajuns started off the game on a 5-1 in the first set.
Sophomore Devene Wells-Gibson led the charge for the Kats with 19 kills and 14 digs.
But the Bearkats scored three straight points on two kills by Cleveland and a kill by sophomore Devene Wells-Gibson.
That was as close as they would get as the Cajuns maintain control and took the first set by the score of 25-14.
The Bearkats woke up with a 5-1 run in the second set and went on to win it by the score of 25-21 to even the match at 1.
Both teams fought hard in the third set as they exchanged points between each other.
The Ragin’ Cajuns eventually take the third set by the score of 27-25.
The fourth set proved to be crucial for both teams as they intensified their play.
The Cajuns seemed to be in control of the set as they kept the Kats off balance.
But with grit and determination and great defense, the Kats came back and took the fourth set to even it at 2.
“They came out a little stronger than we did,” Wells-Gibson said.
“You have to start out strong and finish strong to win the game.
That is exactly what they did in the fifth set as they scored three out of the four points to lead it 3-1.
Though the Cajuns tried to make a run of their own, the Bearkats did not let up and put the match away to win the set and the match.
Cleveland finished the game with 14 kills and 16 digs while senior middle blocker Kim Black contributed with 12 kills and 5 digs.
The Bearkats next two matches are against Texas Southern and the University of Colorado at 1 p.m and 6 p.m.