A-State Volleyball Defeats Texas State in Five-Set Thriller

JONESBORO, AR (ASU) — The Arkansas State volleyball team defeated Texas State 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11) at the Convocation Center on its Senior Day Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 2-1 in the match, A-State (14-19, 9-9 SBC) jumped out to an early 9-6 lead in the fourth set on a Jackie Gerig kill before Texas State (21-12, 11-7 SBC) went on a 5-0 run to earn an 11-9 lead.  A-State tied it at 11-11 and both teams traded points until it was tied 19-19 after a Kelsey Reis kill.  The Red Wolves ended the set on a 6-3 run, capped by a Gerig kill, to win the set 25-22 and send the match to a deciding fifth set.

In the final set, A-State jumped out to a 6-4 lead that caused Texas State to use a timeout.  After the timeout, the Bobcats used a 4-1 run to earn an 8-7 advantage.  After flipping sides of the court, A-State won the next two points and took a 9-8 lead after a Gerig block solo.  Texas State trailed by one point at 11-10 before committing two attacking errors and allowing the Red Wolves to stretch the lead out to 13-10.  The Bobcats used a timeout and won the next point to cut into the A-State advantage 13-11, but Kendal Davis ended the Bobcats' hope of a comeback with a kill and a service ace to clinch the 15-11 game five victory and a 3-2 match win for the Red Wolves.

"The past couple of weeks we've been focusing on competition drills in practice," A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said.  "We want them to fight and we fought today and I'm proud of how our kids responded today.  The seniors have done a lot for our program the last couple of years and we needed to go out in a big fashion and win.  It's a big plus for us to go into the conference tournament with three straight wins."

Arkansas State's Davis and Reis led the way with 13 kills each, while Kelsey Sullivan (12), Sadie Clark (11), and Gerig (11) all recorded double-digit kills.  Mallory Warrington recorded her team-high sixth double-double by registered season-highs in assists (53) and digs (18) and she also had a season-high nine kills, falling one kill shy of recording Arkansas State's first triple-double of the season.  Defensively, Megan Baska recorded a season-high 33 digs, while Sullivan and Clark added two blocks each.

A-State got off to a quick start in the first set by racing out to an 11-6 lead after a Warrington kill, but the Bobcats used a 7-1 run to take a 13-12 lead on a kill.  Both teams went back and forth until the set was tied 19-19, but Texas State ended the set on a 6-1 run to earn a 25-20 set one victory.

The Red Wolves got off to a good start in the second set with a 10-7 lead after a Reis kill, but the Bobcats responded with a 7-1 run to take a 14-11 lead.  Texas State stretched its lead out to four on two occasions and led 20-18 before A-State went on a 7-2 run to close out the set 25-22, capped by a Clark kill, and tie the match 1-1. 

In the third set, Arkansas State got off to a good start by leading 12-7, but a 7-2 Bobcat run tied the set at 14-14.  The Red Wolves tied the set at 18-18 after a Sullivan kill, but Texas State used a 7-4 run to clinch a 25-22 third set victory that gave the Bobcats a 2-1 match lead.

Arkansas State is awaiting final confirmation on its seeding and who it will play in the Sun Belt Conference tournament that runs from Nov. 21-23 in Troy, Ala.  The bracket will be released at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon.