Lady Demons Volleyball Fall to Sam Houston State - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Lady Demons Volleyball Fall to Sam Houston State

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HUNTSVILLE, Tex. -- Stacey DiFrancesco and Kelly Jimenez had great performances for the Northwestern State volleyball team but their efforts fell short as the Lady Demons lost to Sam Houston State on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.

The 19-25, 19-25, 25-17, 17-25 loss lowers NSU to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in Southland Conference action. The Bearkats improve to 10-9, 6-2.

"Sam Houston did a great job of pressuring us from the service line," said NSU co-head coach Hugh Hernesman. "Our passing was not quite what it normally is but I think our offensive numbers were similar.

"We had to make some adjustments after the first two sets but I was happy with how we performed in the third."

SHSU's Devene Wells-Gibson landed a game-high 20 kills, committing only four errors.

DiFrancesco recorded her eighth double-double effort, registering 16 kills and 16 digs.

"Stacey did a good job tonight," said Hernesman. "We are trying to get her to be a little more aggressive but she is on a good path."

Jimenez collected 19 digs while also hammering down nine kills and blocking three attacks.

Sam Houston started off the first set red hot, running out to a 6-2 lead early on. The Lady Demons trimmed the deficit to 6-5 after an SHSU service error sparked a 3-0 run.

NSU tried to hold on but the Bearkats pulled away again after a series of kills and NSU attack errors put the score at 16-10. Northwestern State was unable to gain a lead and dropped the set 25-19.

The Lady Demons looked good to start out the second set, starting with a 3-0 run but SHSU answered with a streak of their own, knotting up the game at 4-4.

Sam Houston took the lead as the scoreboard read 8-7 and controlled the momentum for the remainder of the game. The Bearkats won the set 25-19.

The third set started out competitively but Northwestern State pulled away from Sam Houston after a series of kills led to a score of 18-7.

The Bearkats attempted to make a comeback but never led. The Lady Demons took the set 25-17.

Northwestern State looked promising early on in the fourth, maintaining the lead from 2-1 through the 14-13 mark. SHSU went on a 4-0 run to strengthen their lead to 18-14. The Lady Demons were not able to keep up and never led again, falling 25-17.

"This match shows us that the conference race is wide open," said Hernesman. "I think through this first half of the conference season we have learned where we need to improve.

"We are still a very young group that is growing so we are going to take these lessons and see where we can improve."

NSU returns home on Thursday to take on the Lady Lions of Southeastern Louisiana. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Prather Coliseum.

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