JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball team picked up its second consecutive Sun Belt Conference win Saturday night with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-17) victory over South Alabama at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves (13-8, 8-4) raced out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first set against the Jaguars (10-12, 5-7) after a Sarah Kemp kill, but South Alabama responded to tie the set up at 8-8. After the tie, A-State used an 8-3 run, capped by a Jessica Uke kill, to take a 16-11 lead, but USA closed the gap to two at 20-18 later in the set. However, the Jaguars wouldn't get any closer as A-State closed the set on a 5-3 run for a 25-21 set victory and 1-0 match lead.
The Jaguars burst out the gates with a 7-2 run to start the second set and forced Arkansas State to call a timeout. After the timeout, A-State clawed its way back to tie the set at 13-13 on a Kemp service ace. The Red Wolves earned their first lead at 18-17 on a Drew Jones kill, but South Alabama tied the set again at 20-20. A-State responded to that tie with a 5-2 run and earned a 25-22 second set victory on a Kariana Castanon-Hill kill to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
After intermission, A-State jumped out to a 10-4 advantage to force the Jaguars to call a timeout. After the timeout, USA got within four points at 16-12 on an A-State attack error, but the Red Wolves went on a 6-2 run to take control at 22-14. The Jaguars got as close as six points at 23-17, but a USA service error and Mallory Warrington service ace gave the Red Wolves the two points it needed to secure a 25-17 third set victory and 3-0 match win.
“It was good to get the win and getting to eight wins in conference for us is huge,” A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said. “South Alabama is a really feisty team and they didn't quit. They have fantastic hitters, but we did better in the transition game to get the win.”
Kemp led the way with 13 kills for the Red Wolves, while Castanon-Hill and Uke added seven each. Warrington recorded her 16th double-double of the year by handing out 33 assists and tallying 18 digs defensively. Markie Schaedig followed up her career night with a solid 32 digs to lead the Red Wolves, while six different A-State players recorded blocks, led by Uke's five, which included two block solos.
“My performance isn't just about me, it's about the team,” Kemp said. “I can't do anything without Markie digging and Mallory setting.”
The Red Wolves return to action Friday, Oct. 31 when they host Troy. 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).