TROY, AL. (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball team rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Troy 3-2 (22-25, 24-26, 25-12, 25-15, 15-4) in both teams’ second Sun Belt Conference contest of the season Saturday night at Trojan Arena in Troy, Ala., as the Red Wolves improved to 11-1, which is the best start to a season since the 1988 team also opened 11-1 and finished the season 41-1.
A-State fell behind 2-0 to Troy (5-9, 0-2), but used the intermission to regroup and came out strong in the third set of play. The Red Wolves opened up an 8-1 advantage on a Darby Graff kill and never trailed the rest of the set. The visitors extended the lead to 20-8 on a Kelsey Reis block and later on Reis ended the set with a kill to give A-State a 25-12 win that cut the Trojans’ lead to 2-1 in the match.
Both teams battled to a 13-13 tie to open set four, but a 4-0 run by A-State, capped by a Mallory Warrington kill, gave the Red Wolves a 17-13 edge that forced a Troy timeout. The Red Wolves got up 23-15 before Kariana Castanon-Hill registered the final two points on a block and a kill to give the team a 25-15 set victory and tie the match 2-2.
Arkansas State began the final set about as well as a team can by jumping out to a 10-0 advantage on a Graff kill. Troy got within 13-4, but a block by Reis and Graff made the score 14-4 in favor of the Red Wolves. A-State then got the final point of the match to complete the comeback on a Drew Jones kill to win the set 15-4 and match 3-2.
“We didn’t play A-State volleyball the first two sets,” A-State head coach David Rehr said. “We played right into Troy’s game plan. The intermission really helped us regroup and was crucial in the comeback. We have to learn from tonight’s match and prepare for every conference opponents’ best match.”
Jones led the Red Wolves with 17 kills on a .319 hitting percentage, while Carlisa May tallied 16 of her own on a .382 percentage. Warrington registered her eighth double-double of the season with 49 assists and 11 digs, and she also added a team-best five service aces. Markie Schaedig led the squad with 22 digs defensively, while Reis had nine blocks to lead the team. The Red Wolves recorded a season-high 17 total blocks.
The first set was tied 21-21 late, but Troy used a 4-1 run, capped by a service ace to earn a 25-22 set victory. A-State led 17-14 in the second set to force a Trojans’ timeout, but the home team fought back to tie the set at 21-21. The set ended up tied 24-24 before two Troy kills clinched the set for the Trojans 26-24 for a 2-0 lead in the match.
“We finally get to play at home next weekend and we hope to get some fans out to welcome the team home,” Rehr added.
A-State hosts UT Arlington Friday, Sept. 25 in the team’s home opener. First serve from the Convocation Center is set for 6 p.m. Live stats will be available on AStateStats.com. For the latest on the A-State volleyball squad follow the team on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball) and Instagram (astatevolleyball).