ASU volleyball drops two matches in day one of Missouri Invitational

JONESBORO, Ark. ( – The Arkansas State volleyball team began its season Friday with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-18) loss to Pittsburgh (1-0) and a 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 25-22) setback to Idaho State (1-1).

The first set against Pittsburgh didn't start off the way the Red Wolves (0-2) would have liked as the Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead.  A-State fought back to make it a 15-14 Pitt advantage before Pitt regained control and won the set 25-19.  ASU came out strong in the second set with a 4-0 advantage and was capped by a kill from Sarah Kemp.  Pittsburgh fought back to take an 11-10 lead and never relinquished it to win the set 25-20.

A-State quickly got off to 2-0 advantage in the third set before Pittsburgh responded with a 7-2 run to take a 7-4 lead.  ASU retaliated with a 6-2 run to take a 10-9 lead, but Pittsburgh regained the lead at 11-10 two points later and didn't look back as they took the third set by a score of 25-18 and the match by a count of 3-0.

Kemp registered seven kills to lead A-State in the match, while Jackie Gerig handed out 17 assists.  Markie Schaedig registered 10 digs and Marie Hadar recorded five blocks to pace ASU defensively.

In the match against Idaho State, the Red Wolves controlled the first portion of the opening set by taking a 10-6 lead.  The Bengals erased that margin with a 4-0 run to tie it at 10-10.  A-State stretched the lead back out to four at 17-13 on a kill by Clark, but another Idaho State run tied the set at 17-17.  The Red Wolves led 22-19 after a Bengal attacking error, but Idaho State responded with another 4-0 run for a 23-22 lead.  The points went back and forth until Idaho State got two consecutive kills to win the first set 27-25.

Arkansas State and Idaho State traded points for most of the second set with the score being 18-18 before the Bengals ended the set with a 7-4 run to earn a 25-22 victory.  Idaho State controlled most of the third set and found themselves ahead 18-13 before A-State rallied to tie the set at 21-21.  Idaho State struck back with a 4-1 run to earn the set by a score of 25-22 and the match by a mark of 3-0.

Clark led the Red Wolves with 11 kills, while Gerig dished out 34 assists.  Baska recorded nine digs and Kelsey Reis registered four blocks to lead A-State defensively.

For the day, three Red Wolves had double-digit kills with Clark's 16 leading the way, while Kemp and Kelsey Sullivan each added 15 of their own.  Gerig was able to hand out 51 assists to lead ASU from the setter position.  Baska led A-State with 18 digs, while Schaedig added 12 digs of her own to go along with five service aces.  Reis led the team in blocks with a total of seven for the day, including one block solo.

"Our inexperience showed twice today, and we're still reeling from some injuries," A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said.  "Some of the newcomers didn't do what they've been doing in practice and we hope to turn that around tomorrow."

The Red Wolves will continue action at the Missouri Tiger Invitational Saturday, Aug. 31 against South Dakota at 10 a.m. and wrap up the tournament against host Missouri at 4 p.m.