LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State volleyball team moved into a tie for first-place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division with a 25-22, 25-19, 25-17 over Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday night.
A-State (15-9, 5-3 Sun Belt) dominated the Trojans (9-10, 5-3) in nearly every aspect in the box score and trailed just four times during the match. The Red Wolves had five players with attacking percentages of .300 or better and had a team hitting percentage of .298.
"The team knew how important this game was and they knew how big it was," ASU volleyball coach David Rehr said. "UALR is our travel partner and we knew we had to win tonight to be able to keep pace with them."
The Red Wolves used a balanced attack on the night to put away the Trojans. Kelsie Hodges paced the team with 12 kills and a .450 attacking percentage, while Marie Hadar had a career-high .571 attacking percentage and nine kills. Jasmine Terry and Amanda Chaparro finished with eight kills each, while Allison Kearney added six and Kelsey Sullivan had five.
The Red Wolves quickly took a 3-2 lead in the first set and never looked back. ASU pushed the lead to 15-9, but UALR rallied to close the gap to 17-16 and forced ASU to take a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout the Red Wolves took a 21-17 thanks to four straight Trojan attacking errors and eventually won the set 25-22.
"We needed to get our middle blockers to score tonight and if you look at the numbers the middles really got things going," Rehr said. "To get that type of scoring you are going to need passing our defense did a great job with that too."
Defensively Megan Baska led ASU with 17 kills, while Chaparro added 13 and Kearney finished with 10. It was the 13th time this season that Kearney had registered a double-double and the first time this that Chaparro registered a double-double.
ASU battled UALR in the early part of the second set but pulled ahead 11-6 in the middle part of the frame and never allowed UALR to threaten for the lead. In the third set, the Red Wolves went on a 12-0 run to build a 21-12 edge and won the set easily.
"We need this team to play together," Rehr said. "It is not about individuals. It is about the team and the team did a really good job of being a team."
The Red Wolves will return to action Friday, Oct. 19 at No. 19 Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky., followed by a trip to Middle Tennessee on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.