LAFAYETTE, La. (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball team clinched the Sun Belt Conference West Division title with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-21 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday night.
A-State (20-9, 11-4 SBC) has won at least a share of the division title for the last three years under the direction of head coach Justin Ingram and this is the first divisional title they have won outright during that time.
"I think it speaks a lot to what we do in training, how we compete and the level of expectations that is put onto the program," Ingram said. "It means a lot and I'm certainly happy with a divisional title and we need to move forward and try to parlay it into something well at the conference tournament."
The Red Wolves struggled early and fell behind 9-4 in the first set, but then rallied and scored six of the next seven points to tie the score at 10-10. The Red Wolves continued their forward momentum to take a 14-11 lead and forced the Ragin' Cajuns (13-18, 5-10) to take a timeout. ASU kept the pressure on, however, and pulled ahead 18-14. ULL managed to pull within 21-20 late in the set, but could not force the tie and the Red Wolves took the first set 25-21.
A-State carried its momentum into the second set and hit for a .366 percentage on its way to a 25-20 victory. On the night the Red Wolves finished with a .313 attacking percentage and had just nine attacking errors. Meanwhile, ULL struggled with 18 errors on the night and a .183 attacking percentage.
"We were really steady on our ability to serve-receive, locate and get a nice powerful swing throughout the night," Ingram said. "I think our offense was clicking a .313 percentage and that alone made it very difficult for Louisiana to catch up."
In the third set the two teams traded points until ASU scored five straight points to take a 20-15 lead. The Ragin' Cajuns pulled within 22-19 but the Red Wolves scored three of the match's final five points for the 25-21 set victory and 3-0 match victory.
Jasmine Terry led A-State with 14 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Taylor Szypulski added 11 kills, while Cayla Fielder and Amanda Chaparro had six kills each. Megan Baska finished the night with 20 digs, while Allison Kearney had 36 assists.