Red Wolves top UALR in volleyball

JONESBORO, Ar - The Arkansas State volleyball team (18-9, 8-5) pulled out a five-set (25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 18-16) victory over in-state Sun Belt Conference rival UALR (13-11, 7-6) Tuesday night at the ASU Convocation Center.

Freshman Brittany Hoag led the team on the night with 19 kills with freshman Taylor Coughlin, senior Mandy DeWalt and sophomore Charlyn Ursell all posting double-digit kills as well.  Coughlin added 16 kills, while DeWalt recorded 15 and Ursell delivered 12.

Coughlin, DeWalt and Hoag each notched a double-double posting double-digit digs as well.  Coughlin finished the night with 17 digs, DeWalt tallied 13 and Hoag posted 11.

Senior libero Heather Bowman notched a career-high 36 digs to lead the defensive effort, while Ursell and Coughlin each put up four blocks.  Junior setter Laura Bennett recorded a season-high 58 assists on the night.

"We've been in those situations a lot lately," said ASU head coach Justin Ingram.  "We're either really close or down in that fifth game, and we've had pressure-filled moments. We need to relax and do what we do every day. We need to play safe and aggressive at the same time and limit our errors and go for kills. It took a while, but I'm thankful that the result was our win."

Tied at 22 in set one, the Red Wolves scored three straight points to take the set on two kills from freshman Brittany Hoag and one from sophomore Charlyn Ursell.  The Trojans took the second set by the same score, but ASU broke another 22-22 tie to take set three on kills from Hoag and Ursell.

In the fourth set and down 24-19, Arkansas State rallied to within two on a kill from senior Mandy DeWalt, a service ace from senior Heather Bowman and an UALR attacking error.  The Trojans took the set 25-22, sending the match into a fifth set.

Tied at 16 in the fifth set, freshman Taylor Coughlin pounded out two kills to put the match away for the Red Wolves.

The Red Wolves return to the court Friday when they travel to Denver to take on the Pioneers at 7:00 p.m.