JONESBORO, Ark. (11/13/10) — The Arkansas State Red Wolves (17-11, 11-5) claimed a share of the Sun Belt Conference West Division Championship with a 3-0 sweep over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (17-15, 7-9) Saturday night at the ASU HPESS Facility.
"This win was great," said ASU head coach Justin Ingram. "Winning the co-championship again is a feeling that you just can't explain. We entered the season with an entirely new group, nine new players, but it's the same goal. I'm really proud of the girls and how we progressed throughout the season. Everyone contributed at a high level to accomplish it."
A-State started strong, posting an early 10-5 lead in set one, and did not look back, cruising to a 25-15 victory.
The Ragin' Cajuns were not going down without a fight, and they rallied with a 3-0 start to the second set. It was a back-and-forth game with the score tying 10 times, with the last deadlock at 21-21. ASU pulled away on a kill from freshman Sadie Clark and an error by ULL, but the Ragin' Cajuns answered with a kill from Caroline Dufrene. Clark added another kill to set up the set-point, but Dufrene pounded out another to bring the score to 24-23. With an assist from sophomore Emme Russell, Clark was able to put the set away at 25-23.
Arkansas State got out to another early lead at 8-3 in set three, and Louisiana-Lafayette was unable to recover. The Red Wolves ended the match with a 25-19 win.
Junior Cayla Fielder led the ASU offense, totaling 17 kills with a .500 hitting percentage. Sophomore Taylor Coughlin added nine kills, while Clark and sophomore Jasmine Terry each finished with seven. Freshman Megan Baska led the team with 16 digs, and Fielder assisted the defense with a team-high two solo blocks. Russell put up 22 assists and added three kills.
"This co-championship is great," said Fielder. "I don't think you can tell that we're a young team anymore. We've been playing more like a senior team, and it's really been great to see because most young teams can't play like that."
ASU will most likely be seeded fourth going into the SBC Tournament next week in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The No. 4 and 5 seeds are set to meet at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18. Official seedings, opponents and match times will be released Sunday.