ASU Volleyball drops road matches against South Dakota State, Missouri State

From Arkansas State University

The Arkansas State volleyball team dropped a pair of matches at the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational on the campus of Missouri State University on Friday. South Dakota State defeated the Red Wolves 26-28, 25-21, 18-25, 30-28, 15-11 in the day's first match, followed by a 26-28, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 loss to Missouri State in the nightcap.

ASU trailed Missouri State 17-13 in the first set, but slowly began chipping away at the Lady Bears' lead. Taylor Szypulski closed the gap to 20-19 with a kill, but Missouri State inched ahead once again and held a 24-22 lead to setup two set points scenarios. The Lady Bears failed to convert on both opportunities and the Red Wolves took advantage.

Cayla Fielder gave A-State (4-5) its first lead of the set with a kill and a service ace from Amanda Chaparro gave the Red Wolves a 28-26 comeback victory in the first set.

However, ASU failed to carry the momentum over into the next set. Missouri State built a 19-15 lead and the Red Wolves could not erase the deficit. In the third set, the two battled back-and-forth but the Lady Bears scored five of the set's final six points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set Missouri State pulled away late in the set again. The two teams were tied at 19-19, but the Lady Bears scored the next four points to take a 23-19 lead. ASU pulled within 23-21, but Missouri State closed out the set by scoring the final two points to earn the four-set victory.

Jasmine Terry led A-State in the match with 12 kills, while Szypulski added 10. Megan Baska and Chaparro paced the team with 14 digs each, while Allison Kearney led with the Red Wolves with 41 assists. She also had 12 digs.

"I think we made errors at the wrong time," ASU volleyball coach Justing Ingram said of the Missouri State match. "However, we had really good stretches of volleyball and probably as good as we have had all year."

Against South Dakota State the Red Wolves dropped a thrilling five-set match to the Lady Jack Rabbits. Late in the first set ASU trailed 23-20 before rallying to tie the score at 23-23. After fending off two set points, the Red Wolves took the lead. An attack error from South Dakota State gave ASU a 27-26 edge and Fielder put the set away with a kill to give the Red Wolves a 28-26 victory.

South Dakota State won the second set 25-21, but ASU bounced back in third set behind a strong performance from Fielder and Baska. Fielder collected six kills in the set, while Baska added 10 digs to give ASU a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set ASU led 24-23 and was serving for match point, but failed to convert on the opportunity and allowed the Lady Jack Rabbits to tie the score at 24-24. After trading points, ASU fought off a match point opportunity from South Dakota State to tie the score at 28-28, but the Lady Jack Rabbits converted on the set's final two points to come away with the set victory and tie the match at 2-2.

"We are getting very close to becoming a very dangerous team," ASU volleyball coach Justin Ingram said. "We had three match points against South Dakota State and it was disappointing to lose in five. We have to learn how to finish matches and to take advantage of opportunities in front of us."

South Dakota State carried the momentum into the fifth set and quickly built a 12-8 lead. The Red Wolves pulled within 13-10, but the Lady Jack Rabbits pulled away for a 15-11 victory.

Fielder led ASU with 24 kills, while Terry finished with 16. Baska led the team defensively with 36 digs, while Chaparro and Shelby Crncic each finished with 10 digs. Kearney led the team with 46 assists, while A'Zlynn Thompson added 20. Szypulski finished with 13 kills and 15 digs.