Jonesboro (ASU) — The Arkansas State Red Wolves (10-9, 4-3) took a four-set win over in-state Sun Belt Conference rival UALR (2-15, 0-7) Friday night at the Convocation Center for their third consecutive league win.
ASU came out on fire, cruising to a 25-17 set one win. Set two was a back-and-forth battle that landed tied eight times. Deadlocked at 20-20, the Red Wolves went on a 4-1 run to seal the set at 25-21. A-State pulled ahead early in set three, but the Trojans put up a fight to tie the match at 16-16. UALR rattled off five consecutive points, but the Red Wolves used six kills to battle back to within one at 24-23. A kill from UALR's Ty Lindberg put the set away at 25-23. Arkansas State once again jumped out to an early lead in set four, but this time the Red Wolves never looked back, winning the set 25-18.
"With an in-state rival, it's always important to show up prepared," said ASU head coach Justin Ingram. "We knew that UALR was going to come focused and with the intent to win. Anytime you play in-state, it means a lot. The focus is greater, the energy is greater and our girls started out that way. Winning the first set 25-17 was great, and our middles were tremendous all night. They were the ‘go-to' players all night, both Ashley (Tipps) and Kelsie (Hodges). I'm very proud of how they competed, along with Jasmine Terry, but we need to respond faster to adversity in order for us to turn this corner."
Freshman Ashley Tipps led the ASU offense with 17 kills, while sophomore Kelsie Hodges added 15 kills and a stellar .467 hitting percentage. Sophomore Jasmine Terry also saw double-digit kills with 13. Sophomore setter Allison Kearney put up a season-high 53 assists, while freshman Sadie Clark chalked up three service aces.
Defensively, two Red Wolves posted double-digit digs, including freshman Megan Baska with 23 and sophomore Taylor Coughlin with 16. Tipps and Terry each added four blocks on the night.
The ASU squad will be back in action next weekend as it hosts Florida Atlantic Friday and Florida International Sunday. Friday's match is set to begin at 7:00 p.m., while Sunday's contest will get underway at 1:00 p.m.