Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics
ATLANTA, Ga. (11/9/18) – Arkansas State volleyball rallied from a 0-2 deficit to defeat No. 7 South Alabama in five sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-20, 24-26, 15-10) Thursday night in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
With the win, A-State will advance to the Quarterfinals to face No. 3 Coastal Carolina Friday, Nov.16, while South Alabama’s tournament run will come to a halt.
“I’m really proud of the way our kids played tonight,” Said A-State head coach David Rehr. “it was the defense that carried us in the final three sets and it’s something we’re going to need for the remainder of this tournament.
Three-time offensive player of the year Carlisa May led the Red Wolves with 19 kills while freshman Macey Putt added 18. Ellie Watkins handed out a game-high 54 assists while Tatum Ticknor paced the A-State defense with 54 digs.
In the first set, A-State took an early 9-6 advantage over the Jaguars when it went on a 3-0 scoring run led by Callie Weaver and Kenzie Fields. The Jaguars rallied when they went on a 5-0 scoring run to take a 17-16 lead. South Alabama pushed its advantage 23-19 on kills by Kelly Hartman and Anna Harris. The Red Wolves couldn’t find rhythm offensively when they fell 25-20 on back-to-back attack errors.
South Alabama raced out to an 8-5 advantage on a service ace by Chapel in the second set, however, the Red Wolves rallied when they went on a 4-0 scoring on back-to-back kills by May to even the set at 9. South Alabama rallied when they went 3-0 scoring run to extend its advantage 21-19. A-State couldn’t find an answer for the aggressive South Alabama offense when it drooped the set 25-22 on a kill by Harris.
South Alabama jumped out to an early 7-5 advantage on a kill by Harris. However, the Red Wolves rallied on back-to-back kills by May to extend their advantage 14-8, their largest lead of the match. A-State showed a sense of urgency when it pulled away 19-9 on back-to-back kills by May. A-State never lost momentum when it took the third set 25-20 over South Alabama.
The Jaguars jumped out to an 5-1 advantage on back-to-back kills by Harris. However, the Red Wolves rallied when Ticknor and Watkins earned momentum changing digs to set Macey Putt up for two back-to-back kills, to even the match at 10, to force a South Alabama timeout.
“I was really proud of the way the girls fought back,” Rehr. “We showed a lot of determination and I was proud of the way we never gave up.”
Concluding the timeout, South Alabama went on a 3-0 scoring run to pull ahead 17-14. However, Peyton Uhlenhake earned back-to-back kills to even the set at 17. The Red Wolves rallied when they went on a 3-0 run led by Carlisa May to tie the set at 21. The Red Wolves took the fourth set 26-24 on three kills by May.
In the final set, South Alabama took an early 6-3 advantage to force a Red Wolves timeout. A-State rallied when they went on a 4-0 scoring run to take a 7-6 lead over the Jaguars. The Red Wolves gained momentum when they went on a 3-0 on two service aces by Callie Weaver and a kill by Uhlenhake to pull ahead 10-8. The Red Wolves didn’t fold when they took the set 15-10.
The Red Wolves are set to battle it out with No. 3 Coastal Carolina Friday, Nov. 16 in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The first serve is set for 4 p.m. from the GSU Sports Complex.
Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.