JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball squad snapped a three-match losing skid with a thrilling 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 25-27, 15-12) victory over Appalachian State Friday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.
With the match tied 2-2, the Mountaineers (17-5, 7-5) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on the Red Wolves (12-8, 7-4), but A-State struck back with a 4-1 run to take a 4-3 lead after a Drew Jones kill. A-State had a two-point cushion at 10-8 after a Jessica Uke kill, but three straight points by Appalachian State put the Red Wolves down 11-10. A-State answered with a 3-0 run of its own to take a 13-11 lead and held a 14-11 advantage after a Kelsey Reis block. The Mountaineers won the next point, but another Jones kill gave A-State a 15-12 set victory and 3-2 match win.
“This was a really hard match against a really good team,” A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said. “Let's give Appalachian State a lot of credit because they are a really good volleyball team. It really helped that we were at home and in front of our home crowd. We didn't play the cleanest match, but we walked away with a win and ended our three-game losing streak, which was huge.”
The Red Wolves had three players register double-digit kills with Sarah Kemp's 21 leading the way. Jones was second on the team with 20 kills and Uke tallied 19 on a team-high .548 hitting percentage. Mallory Warrington recorded her 15th double-double by tying a season high with 59 assists and adding 10 digs. Markie Schaedig had a career night defensively for the Red Wolves by registering 41 digs to break her career high of 40, set just last Friday at UT Arlington. Reis led A-State's blocking efforts with two block solos and three block assists for a total of five.
“It was definitely a huge win for us,” Schaedig said. “I'm the leader of the defense so my main job was to dig the outside hitter's balls. I thought our entire defense worked really well together and we got a lot of balls up for the offense to run.”
Arkansas State began the match on a 5-0 run, capped by a Kemp kill, in the first set to force an early Appalachian State timeout. A-State extended its lead to 11-5 after another Kemp kill, but the Mountaineers eventually came back to tie the set at 16-16. Appalachian State took a 20-19 edge, but A-State regained the lead at 21-20 on a Warrington service ace and ended the set on a 5-0 run, capped by a Kariana Castanon-Hill kill, to earn a 25-20 set victory.
The second set of the match was a struggle early as both teams battled to a 9-9 tie, but Appalachian State took a two-point advantage at 17-15. A-State fought back with a 5-0 run to earn a 20-17 lead after a Kemp kill, but Appalachian State got within one point on three different occasions with the last coming at 24-23. The Red Wolves capitalized on a set point with a Jones kill and earned a 25-23 set victory for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Appalachian State began its comeback by racing out to a 20-12 lead in the third set. A-State fought back to get within two points at 24-22 on a Reis and Warrington block, but a kill by Jess Keller gave the Mountaineers a 25-22 third set win. The fourth set was hotly contested with both teams tied 15-15 midway through the game. A-State earned a 20-17 edge on a Reis kill, but Appalachian State fought back to tie the set at 25-25. The Mountaineers earned the next two points to take a 27-25 set victory and tie the match at 2-2 to set up the fifth and final set.
The Red Wolves return to action Saturday, Oct. 25 when they host South Alabama. First serve from the Convocation Center is set for 7 p.m., and fans can keep up with the entire match's action by viewing live stats at AStateStats.com
and by following @AStateGameday on Twitter. For the latest on the A-State volleyball team follow the squad on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball).