ULM beats Lamar in five to close Katrinka Crawford Invitational

BEAUMONT, Texas – The ULM volleyball team claimed their second victory of the season against Lamar, securing a 3-2 victory (22-25, 26-24, 25-17, 25-21, 15-11 ) Saturday afternoon, August 28, to wrap up the Katrinka Crawford Invitational at McDonald Gym.

“Today was a good day for this team”, head coach of the ULM Charlie olson noted. “It took the whole team to do it.”

Second year Emma McWhorter interrupted Lamar’s initial 3-0 run (1-2) with a kill. The Warhawks (2-1) took their first lead of the first set at 5-4 due to Lamar’s attacking error. Lamar regained the lead at 10-9. From there, the two teams traded their leads and tied nine times. McWhorter kept his side in the set with four straight aces, but Lamar regained the lead at 20-19 and closed the set 25-22.

The Warhawks got off to a slow start in the second set as Lamar took the lead, 10-3. One murder by senior Cali Assaley sparked the comeback, but Lamar was able to extend his lead to 18-11. The second stint in their comeback came when ULM was down 24-19 and Lamar was close to closing the set. Back-to-back mistakes by Lamar helped McWhorter get another ace. First-year student Avery cole came with the last two kills as the ULM scored seven straight points to win the set 26-24.

“All props for Lamar,” Olson said. “They’re one of the best defensive ground teams we’ll face all year. They’ve dug it all out.”

The Warhawks kept their momentum going in the third set. ULM led for much of the set until Lamar took the lead at 13-12. A Lamar error tied the game and an Assaley win put the Warhawks back on top. The ULM took the momentum to win the third set, 25-17.

The Warhawks and Cardinals faced off for most of the fourth set. There were 10 ties and five changes ahead. Lamar escaped late taking the lead at 19-18. An offensive error gave Lamar the set 25-21.

ULM’s attacks set the tone in the fifth set, rushing to a 10-3 lead. Assaley had two wins at the end of the game before Cole delivered the playoff win at 15-11.

The Warhawks’ 12 serving aces are the program’s record in five games in one game in the 25-point rally scoring era (2008-present). McWhorter’s seven serving aces are most important by a Warhawk in a five-set game in the 25-point era.

Assaley had a career-high 19 kills to lead the Warhawks while Cole added 15. Junior Mariana Volponi and Giordan led his team with 25 assists.

Assaley and Cole were named to the tournament’s all-star squad.

“We will celebrate this victory and continue to find ways to improve by 1% in our next game,” said Olson.

The Warhawks travel to Natchitoches to face Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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