STARKVILLE, Miss. – A cold afternoon offensively from the Lamar University volleyball team coupled with an extremely hot start from Eastern Washington hurt the Cardinals as they fell in 3-0 (16-25, 22-25, 14-25) in the first match of the 2016 campaign in the Bulldog Invitational at Mississippi State Friday.

The Cardinals (0-1) finished the day with a .044 hitting percentage and struggled early to get any rhythm going after nine attack errors in the first set, 20 in that match. EWU (1-0) had only eight in the match and recorded a .345 hitting mark.

The first set of the contest set the tone with LU having a .031 hitting percentage on eight kills with nine errors and the Eagles collecting 11 kills with a single error. Eastern jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but LU crawled back into it with two kills from offensive leader Ivette Dim and a EWU bad set and service error.

Dim finished the match with eight kills on 19 attacks for a .211 hitting percentage, team best of players with seven or more attempts.

The second set was a much more competitive game with both teams owning a sideout percentage north of 60. The Cardinals jumped out to a quick lead, but EWU was able to get it to 3-3 on a bad LU set and gain the advantage with a service ace from Kinberly Brinkworth.

Though they wouldn’t get the lead back, the Cardinals were able to tie it at 18-18 after Eastern built a lead as big as five. Lamar went on an 8-3 run, forcing EWU into several errors.

Carlyn Stella finished with five kills followed by four from Chelsea Grant and three from Murielle Hlavac. Ashley Ellis had 11 assists while Haley Morton had eight. Lauren Stahlman led the way in digs with eight.

Jessica Gilbert topped the Eagles with 13 kills in 17 attacks without a single error. Sophie Miller led all players with 28 assists and Megan LaFonda reached into double figures with 11 digs. EWU finished with nine blocks while LU had none.

The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday when they take on tourney host Mississippi State on the SEC Network+ at noon followed by a matchup against No. 5 Kansas at 5 p.m. The contest against the Bulldogs can be seen at WatchEPSN.com or on the WatchESPN app on Apple or android devices.