The Sam Houston State volleyball team kicked off Southland Conference play in style on Thursday night, coming back for a 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-14) win over Northwestern State at Prather Coliseum.

The Kats (5-8, 1-0 SLC) hit just .097 in dropping the opening set, but kept the defensive clamps on tight throughout, holding NSU (8-7, 0-1 SLC) to no higher than .065 hitting in any of the four sets and just .043 for the match to sweep the final three frames and take the match.

Ashley Lewis was the big catalyst, connecting on a career-high 23 kills on 63 swings with just four errors (.302) to go with 12 digs for her sixth double-double for the year. Madilyn Miles and Morgan Janda each had double-doubles as well from their setting positions with Miles going for 23 assists 13 digs and Janda with 14 assists and 16 digs.

SHSU also got a dozen kills from Catherine Krieger, while Addison Miller (20 digs) and Ashleigh Traylor (11 digs) each reached double-figure digs. Kaira Hunnicutt had just three of the Kats’ 51 kills, but had a hand in four of SHSU’s eight blocks for the match.

The Kats will go for a 2-0 start in Southland Conference play on Saturday when they travel to Central Arkansas for a match scheduled for a noon first serve from the Prince Center.

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