NATCHITOCHES, La. (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball team completed an undefeated weekend at the Holiday Inn Express Invitational by defeating host Northwestern State 25-16, 25-19, 25-12 on Saturday afternoon.
This marks ASU's second tournament of the year in which they have gone undefeated. The first occurred Sept. 2-3 in Nashville, Tenn., at the Lipscomb Invitational. This also marked the Red Wolves' fifth straight victory after defeating Hofstra on Sept. 10 Southeast Missouri State at home on Sept. 13 and Alcorn State and Central Arkansas on Friday.
A-State (9-5) was fueled in the match by Taylor Szypulski who finished 11 kills and personal season-high .550 attacking percentage. She was also named to the all-tournament and was named tournament MVP. Jasmine Terry and Amanda Chaparro were also named to the all-tournament team.
"We knew coming into today's match that Northwestern State is an aggressive serving team and we would be challenged," ASU volleyball coach Justin Ingram said. "We handled their serving pressure well and made it difficult for them to sideout with our low-flat serves and big blocking presence."
In the second set Szypulski had five kills, one block and a dig to help ASU to a 25-19 victory. The Red Wolves and Lady Demons (3-10) were tied at 16-16, but ASU scored the next six points to push the lead to 22-16. A kill from Cayla Fielder made the score 23-17 and an attack error from Northwestern State setup set point for A-State. Szypulski put the set away with a kill to give ASU a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set ASU grabbed the moment early and jumped out to a 16-8 behind the play of Szypulski. The red shirt freshman finished with five kills, two aces, two digs and one block assist in the set the power the Red Wolves' attack.
ASU won all of its games in three sets on the weekend, marking the first time the Red Wolves' had accomplished the feat since 2009 when they did at the ASU Invitational.
Szypulski led A-State attack with 11 kills. She also added five digs, two aces and two solo blocks. Fielder finished personal season-high four solo blocks and three block assists. Allison Kearney added 19 assists and Megan Baska had 10 digs.
"We feel great about another 3-0 win to conclude our pre-conference season and are excited to begin Sun Belt play this Friday," Ingram said."
ASU will open Sun Belt Conference play on the road against Middle Tennessee on Friday, Sept. 23.