MOSS BLUFF — It was hard for Sam Houston to string more than a few points together at times in its non-district volleyball match against Iota on Thursday. But once they did, the Broncos rolled to a three-set sweep, 25-19, 25-18 and 25-18.
“We started off sluggish,” Sam Houston head coach Rene Fontenot said. “We hadn’t had a whole lot of three-set matches so that was nice for them to get it done in three.”
Sam Houston improved to 7-1 and 4-0 at home, a big turn around from last season’s 3-5 start. Sam Houston returned all but one player from last year’s team.
“We have good chemistry this year,” Fontenot said. “Most of them returned from last year and we only lost one senior.
“That helped immensely to have returning leadership; we didn’t have that last year. It is a big difference. They are doing better at buying in this year. They have a lot of maturity this year and they are receptive to correction. It is a nice breath of fresh air because they are progressing.”
Sam Houston struggled in the first set with passing and fell behind 14-10 after Iota went on a 4-0 run, but the Broncos finished the set on a 7-1 run.
“Our passes were not very good,” Fontenot said. “We were forced into just some high outsides.
“Normally we are trying to spread them to incorporate our middles because they kind of get squeezed out of a lot if you don’t get good passes in.”
Sam Houston fixed its passing in the second set and was able to spread the ball around with big results. Five players had two or more kills, led by Madeline Manuel, Jordan Cochran and Jaiden Glover who had three apiece.
Iota took a 12-10 lead in the second set on an outside kill by Makenzie Droddy, but Sam Houston went on an 8-1 run.
Sam Houston controlled the net in the third set with 10 blocks, including five from Glover, who finished with seven to go with four kills.
“We do some drills on blocking every day to try to get better at that,” Fontenot said. “We had a lot of blocking errors early on so we knew that it was something that we needed to fix.
“We have been working on it the last couple of weeks.”
Sam Houston trailed 4-3 in the third set after a kill by Iota’s Lindsay Jordan, but an 8-0 run swung the momentum back to the Broncos. Glover capped the run with a block of Iota’s Kendall Miller.
Skylar Glover led Sam Houston with 12 kills while Alania Bartie had 26 assists.
Jordan led Iota with eight kills and Erin Bouley added six kills and four digs.