SAN MARCOS, Texas (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State volleyball swept Louisiana-Lafayette 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-15) Thursday evening at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos, Texas to advance to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals for the third consecutive season.
A-State (21-9) jumped out to a 10-6 advantage in the first set after a Kariana Castanon-Hill kill and forced Louisiana-Lafayette (20-13) to use a timeout. ULL got as close as 11-8, but the Red Wolves stretched their lead to 15-9 before the Ragin' Cajuns used their final timeout of the set. A-State extended its lead to 19-11 on a Jessica Uke block and closed the set on a 6-4 run for a 25-15 game one victory.
The second set began much like the first for the Red Wolves as the squad held an early 10-8 edge on a Drew Jones block, but ULL responded to tie things up at 10-10. A-State used a 7-2 run, capped by a Uke block, to create some separation at 17-12. After a Louisiana-Lafayette timeout, a Castanon-Hill kill put the score at 21-14 and caused ULL to use its second timeout of the set. ULL won the next point, but a 4-0 run, capped by a Jones kill, gave A-State its second 25-15 set victory.
The Ragin' Cajuns began the third set on a 5-1 run, but A-State battled back with a 10-3 run to take an 11-8 edge on a Jones kill. After an ULL timeout, the Red Wolves used a 7-4 run, capped by a Uke block, to earn an 18-12 advantage and force Louisiana-Lafayette to use its last timeout. Arkansas State closed the set on a 7-3 run as a Castanon-Hill kill gave the Red Wolves a 25-15 third set win and 3-0 match win.
“This was a great way to open the Sun Belt Conference Tournament,” A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said. “I thought this match was the best we've played from start to finish in quite a while. I'm very proud of the effort.”
Sarah Kemp led the Red Wolves with 10 kills, while Jones and Castanon-Hill had nine and eight, respectively. Mallory Warrington registered her team-leading 22nd double-double by dishing out 25 assists and tallying 13 digs. Defensively, Markie Schaedig, the 2014 SBC Defensive Player of the Year, led the team with 19 digs, while the Red Wolves recorded 11 total blocks. Uke led the blockers with seven total, including four block solos.
Arkansas State will face the winner between the second seed Texas State and seventh seed Georgia State tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. Fans can keep up with the match on Twitter (@AStateGameDay) and live stats at www.
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