A-State VB set for two matches on back-to-back nights - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

A-State VB set for two matches on back-to-back nights

 SERVING?IT?UP: The Arkansas State volleyball team will put its eight-match winning streak on the line when they host Louisiana-Lafayette at the Convocation Center Nov. 21.  First serve is set for 7 p.m.  A-State follows that match with a contest against in-state rival UALR Nov. 22 at the Convocation Center.  First serve is set for 7 p.m. and will be the team's “Senior Night” to honor lone senior Sarah Kemp.

THE LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE SERIES: A-State leads the overall series with the Ragin' Cajuns 42-13 after defeating ULL 3-2 in Lafayette earlier in the month (Nov. 2).  Louisiana-Lafayette enters the match with a 19-11 overall record and 8-10 mark in SBC play.  ULL?can clinch a spot in the conference tournament with a win over A-State or ULM in their final two matches.

THE UALR SERIES: Arkansas State leads the overall series with UALR 48-19, but the Trojans defeated A-State 3-0 in Little Rock earlier this season on Oct. 14.  The Trojans are 25-4 overall with an unblemished 19-0 mark in SBC?play.  UALR has already clinched the regular-season conference championship.

DIGGING WITH SCHAEDIG: Sophomore Markie Schaedig leads the nation with a 6.51 digs per set average.  She's held on to the top spot since the Nov. 3 rankings.  She has 651 digs on the season, which ranks her first in the SBC and seventh overall in the nation.  The 651 digs are already the fourth most in A-State history for a single season.

MARVELOUS MALLORY: Setter Mallory Warrington continues her strong sophomore campaign as she leads the Red Wolves in assists with 1,060 (10.60 assists per set).  Her 10.60 average is second in the SBC and ranks 67th in the nation.  Warrington dished out 74 assists during A-State's two wins this past weekend for a 10.57 pet set average.  She is also the team leader in service aces with 33 and second in digs with 339 (3.39 digs per set).

DOUBLE-DOUBLES GALORE: Mallory Warrington leads the Sun Belt Conference with 21 double-doubles this season after adding two against ULM (29 assists and 17 digs) and Georgia Southern (45 assists and 15 digs).  Sarah Kemp is second on the squad with 10 after adding one against Georgia Southern (16 kills and 10 digs).

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Arkansas State ranks second in the entire nation in digs per set as a team with an average of 18.06, but is second in the conference as they trail UTA (18.34).  A-State is also ninth in the country (second in the SBC) in attacks per set with an average of 38.44.   A-State is 68th in the latest RPI rankings, placing the Red Wolves second among SBC teams, only trailing UALR (41st).

UKE CAN DO IT: Freshman middle blocker Jessica Uke is putting together an outstanding season.  She leads the team in hitting percentage with a .394 mark, which ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference and 23rd in the nation.  She ranks fourth on the squad in kills (172), but third in kills per set with a 2.36 average.  Defensively, she is second on the team with 51 total blocks and second with 14 block solos.

KILLING IT WITH KEMP: Senior Sarah Kemp is A-State's only player with more than 300 kills with 348 for a 3.62 per set average.  She added 28 kills in the Red Wolves' wins over ULM and Georgia Southern.  Her 3.62 average ranks fourth in the conference and 98th in the nation.  She is also third on the team in digs (215) and fifth on the team in blocks (32).

A SIDE OF REIS: Sophomore Kelsey Reis is the team's leader in blocks through 27 matches with 85 total blocks (0.87 per set) after adding a career-high 10, including four block solos, against Georgia Southern.  She has the most block solos on the team with 23 and is third on the team with 200 kills.  Her .284 hitting percentage also ranks third on the team and her 25 service aces are the second most on the squad.

CONFERENCE RANKINGS: As a team, the Red Wolves are second in the SBC with a .234 hitting percentage and 18.00 digs per set mark in conference matches.  The squad also ranks third in service aces (1.32 per set) and kills (13.46 per set).  Individually, Jessica Uke is second with a .406 hitting percentage in SBC matches, while Kelsey Reis ranks fourth (.331).  Markie Schaedig tops the digs per set category (6.69) and Mallory Warrington is fourth in assists per set (10.59) and service aces (0.32).

SCHAEDIG'S CAREER DAY: Sophomore libero Markie Schaedig had a career day against Louisiana-Lafayette Nov. 2 with 42 digs against the Ragin' Cajuns.  The 42 digs broke her A-State rally scoring era record of 41, set just nine days before against Appalachian State, and is tied for the second most in Sun Belt Conference rally scoring history.

SCHAEDIG AND UKE REPEAT SBC WEEKLY AWARDS: Markie Schaedig tallied 59 digs (7.38 per set) over the weekend as she earned the SBC DPOW for the second straight week and fourth time this season.  She had 28 digs against Georgia State and had her sixth performance with at least 30 digs against Appalachian State Saturday when she recorded 31.  Uke won her third consecutive FOW award.  She had 15 kills on a team season-high .619 hitting percentage and added nine more against App. State to give her 24 kills on a .500 hitting percentage for the weekend.

LAST TIME OUT:  JONESBORO, Ark. (11/16/14) – The Arkansas State volleyball squad, powered by a career-high and team season-high 10 blocks from Kelsey Reis, picked up its eighth straight win with a 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17) victory versus Sun Belt Conference foe Georgia Southern Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center.

                The barrage of blocks by Reis began in the first set when she registered five of her blocks, including a block solo.  She went on to add a block solo in every set to end the day with another career high and team season high of four block solos.  The Red Wolves recorded 12 total blocks as a team, their fourth highest total of the season.

                “Our huge focus today was defensive intensity,” Reis said.  “I just really wanted to focus on doing my job and helping out with that by doing my part with the blocking.”

                A-State (19-8, 14-4) was able to capitalize on Reis's blocks early in the first set as she registered a block solo on the second point of the match to give Arkansas State an early 2-0 lead.  The Eagles (7-21, 6-12) responded to tie the set at 7-7, but a Jessica Uke kill on the next point gave the Red Wolves a lead they wouldn't relinquish as A-State went on to win the set by a score of 25-16.

                The second set proved to be tougher for Arkansas State as Georgia Southern gained an early 10-7 edge after a service error.  The Red Wolves rallied with a 4-0 run to take an 11-10 lead after a Markie Schaedig service ace and eventually found themselves ahead 22-18 after a block from Kariana Castanon-Hill and Uke.  The Eagles got within three at 23-20, but a Castanon-Hill kill and ensuing Georgia Southern attack error gave the Red Wolves a 25-20 win in the second set.

                Arkansas State and Georgia Southern battled through 15 ties and four lead changes in the third set.  A-State began the set with a 10-6 lead, but the Eagles held a 20-18 edge later in the set.  A 3-0 run by the Red Wolves put the team on top 21-20 and forced Georgia Southern to use a timeout.  Both teams were knotted up at 23-23, but the Eagles won the next two points to force game four.

                Georgia Southern started the fourth set with a 6-4 advantage, but A-State went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Castanon-Hill kill, to earn a 12-6 lead.  The Red Wolves wouldn't look back after that and stretched their advantage to eight points on several occasions, including the last point of the set when a Uke kill gave Arkansas State a 25-17 set victory and 3-1 match win.

                “This was a must win for us because we're to the stage where every game is important to us for seeding purposes in the conference tournament,” A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said.  “We'll definitely take this win over a good Georgia Southern team, especially after having to keep our focus with the delay at the beginning.”

                The A-State offense recorded its third highest attacking percentage of the season by hitting at a .331 clip and hit over .300 in all four sets of the match.  Sarah Kemp led the way with 16 kills, while Drew Jones (11) and Uke (10) also tallied double-digit numbers.  Uke led the team with a .600 hitting percentage while no A-State player hit below a .233 mark.  Mallory Warrington dished out 45 assists and recorded 15 digs to earn her team-leading 21st double-double of the year.

                Defensively, Schaedig led the Red Wolves with 17 digs and Kemp added 10 of her own to give her a double-double, her 10th of the season.  In addition to Reis's numbers blocking, A-State had five other players tally at least one block with Castanon-Hill registering the second most on the squad with four, all block assists.  Kemp had two block assists, while Jones, Uke, and Warrington each added one.

                The Arkansas State volleyball team returns to action Friday, Nov. 21 at the Convocation Center against Louisiana-Lafayette with first serve set for 7 p.m.   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).
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