JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball team improved to 13-1 and 4-0 in Sun Belt Conference play with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-17) sweep over Troy Saturday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro with the 4-0 SBC start representing the best beginning to conference play since the 1999 squad also won its first four SBC matches.
The Red Wolves, ranked 25th in the latest PrepVolleyball.com poll, began the match by jumping out to a 14-8 advantage on a Drew Jones kill that forced the Trojans (5-11, 0-4 SBC) to call their first timeout. A-State stretched the lead out to 19-12 on another Jones kill that saw Troy use its final timeout of the set. Arkansas State finished the set on a 6-4 run to win the set 25-16 and take a 1-0 match lead.
Troy raced out to a 16-12 advantage in set two, but the Red Wolves had an 8-3 run, capped by a Hannah Robey service ace to take to a 20-19 edge. A-State took a 24-21 lead on a Jessica Heuertz ace and, after a Troy point, a kill by Jones gave the home team a 25-22 set victory and 2-0 match edge into the intermission.
A-State came out sharp in set three by earning 7-1 lead on a Mallory Warrington and Kelsey Reis block that forced Troy to use a timeout. The Red Wolves extended the lead to 16-6 on a Darby Graff kill, but Troy fought back to within four points at 19-15. However, Arkansas State responded with a 6-2 run, ending with an Anna Murphy kill, to take the set 25-17 and win the match 3-0.
"You can't get bored with winning, because in the past winning didn't come easy, so we cherish every one of them," A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. "We came out prepared and our team executed what we were supposed to execute and had a little fun doing it. We have a lot of talent in our locker room so we have to make sure we keep pressing each other."
Jones led the Red Wolves with 10 kills, while Carlisa May had nine kills on a .667 hitting percentage. Warrington handed out 33 assists and helped pace A-State to a .337 hitting percentage as a team. Markie Schaedig led the team with 16 digs, while Reis had three blocks. Weaver led the team with two of A-State's six service aces.
"We played well tonight and I got all the sets I wanted," said Jones. "I think we fought back in the second set by calling the timeout. We got back together and brought that energy and our team leaders brought us together to help us play better the rest of the set. We really like each other and we have great team chemistry so it usually comes pretty easily."