Volleyball sweeps Sam Houston State Invitational

The volleyball team won each match without dropping a set at the Sam Houston State Invitational Friday and Saturday.

CMU (7-3) won its last five matches in straight sets and has only lost a single set since Sept. 5 against Iowa.

“There were several times in each match that we had to make a comeback,” said coach Erik Olson. “I hadn’t seen that from our team in a number of years. I think we have found our mental strength.”

Senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Hurt was named Most Valuable Player at the invitational. Hurt hit for 26 total kills in the three-game tournament.

“I have always been a quick middle, so I have never really been a dominant hitter,” Hurt said. “But this year, I have been getting a lot more sets and have been taking advantage of the opportunities.”

Lamar, the defending Southland Conference champions, was leading 23-21 in the first set before junior outside hitter Lauren Krupsky earned a kill to bring the team within one. Hurt later earned her first of three aces in the match to give the team a 24-23 lead. Freshman outside hitter Lindsey Dulude finished the set with a kill.

Central was able to win the next two sets by neutralizing Lamar middle blocker Jayme Bazile. Bazile came into the match leading her conference in blocks per set, but recorded only two blocks and four kills in the match against CMU.

Senior setter Stephanie Budde added three aces to her season total against Sam Houston State. The loss was the first at home for Sam Houston State. The Chippewas opened the tournament Friday against North Texas. The defense held North Texas to 20 kills.

Central opens Mid-American Conference play Friday at Eastern Michigan.