JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Two Arkansas State players recorded double-digit kill totals, including junior outside hitter Marie Hadar with a match-high 14, to the lead the Red Wolves to a 25-23, 25-20, 25-16 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at the Convocation Center in a women's volleyball Sun Belt Conference matchup on Friday night.
Playing its final home game of the season, the A-State volleyball team recognized its five seniors in a pre-match ceremony. Senior Allison Kearney registered 35 assists in her final match, while fellow senior and Jonesboro native Kelsie Hodges added seven kills.
"Senior players can really make it or break for a new head coach," ASU head coach David Rehr said. "They bought in and through adversity and through good times and bad they helped us. I am proud to have been their coach for the little time that we had together."
The Red Wolves (17-11, 7-5) finished with an attacking percentage of .235 and their defense limited the Ragin' Cajuns (15-14, 6-7) to just a .165 percentage while recording four blocks. Led by Megan Baska's 14 digs, A-State collected 47 on the night to keep the Louisiana-Lafayette attack at bay.
ASU jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first set, but Ragin' Cajuns went on a 7-2 run to tie the score. ASU trailed 20-17 later in the set, but rallied to score eight of the set's final 11 points to win the first set 25-23.
A-State pulled away during the midway point of the second and opened up a 17-12 advantage. The Ragin' Cajuns struggled to convert on sideout opportunities, doing so at just a 56 percent clip compared to ASU's 69 percent in the set. ULL managed to close the margin to four points late in the set, but the Red Wolves pulled away for the five point victory.
"We stressed defensive intensity all week," Rehr said. "We didn't play well against Arkansas-Little Rock because we didn't have defensive intensity. Louisiana-Lafayette is a really good defensive team and we had to match it and we did. I'm really proud of the team for stepping up like that."
ASU kept up its intensity in the third set and quickly built a 16-9 advantage. The Red Wolves had a sideout percentage of 82 percent during the set and had a .459 attacking percentage. Every ASU senior recorded a stat during the set, including Amanda Chaparro who ended the match with a kill. Fellow senior Taylor Coughlin finished nine digs on the night and Jasmine Terry had three kills.
ASU will return to the court Tuesday, Nov. 6 in a non-conference matchup with the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. First serve is set for 7 p.m.