JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to come back and defeat Texas State 3-2 (25-16, 20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10) for its 15th straight victory and a 10-0 start in Sun Belt Conference play, the best in school history.
The Red Wolves (19-1, 10-0 SBC) trailed 2-1 to Texas State (12-10, 7-2 SBC) after three sets and was behind 10-7 early in set four before an 8-2 run, capped by a Kelsey Reis kill, put A-State up 15-12. However, the Bobcats battled back with a 5-1 run to take a 17-16 edge. The Red Wolves fought back with a 4-0 run, capped by a Mallory Warrington kill, to go ahead 20-17 and force Texas State to use a timeout. A-State ended the set on a 5-3 run with Drew Jones registering a kill for the final point that clinched a 25-20 set victory and tied the match 2-2.
A-State began the final set on a 3-0 run, but saw the Bobcats come back to get within 6-5 after a block. The Red Wolves extended their lead to 10-7 on a Darby Graff kill and Texas State used its final timeout of the set. The timeout didn’t slow down the home team as Arkansas State extended its advantage to 13-8 on a Jones kill. The Bobcats earned the next two points, but another Jones kill and block by Reis clinched a 15-10 set victory and 3-2 match win for the Red Wolves.
“I made a mistake in game four with the lineup card,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “I told the team before the match that sometimes during a match someone is going to mess up and they will have to pick up the pace to cover them. Unfortunately it was me and they saved me. We fight for each other. The crowd was great and being able to ask the crowd for energy was awesome. You have to give some credit to Texas State though because they have great coaches and great players.”
Carlisa May led the team with 18 kills, while Reis (13), Graff (12), and Jones (11) were all in double digits with Reis hitting .464. Warrington picked up her 12th double-double of the season with 52 assists and 18 digs, while also adding six kills. Markie Schaedig recorded a team-high 28 digs and was one assist shy of a double-double with nine. Jessica Heuertz also had double-digit digs with 14. Reis was a force defensively as she tallied nine blocks, including five block solos.
“Coming out of intermission tied 1-1, we’re not going to give up and that’s been our motto, to finish,” A-State senior defensive specialist Hannah Robey, who had a fantastic kick save in the fourth set, said. “Even though we lost the third set, it was still stuck in our heads that we were going to finish it because it was our game in our house and we were able to pull it out. The crowd was awesome and we definitely fed off their energy. They’re another part of our team.”
The two teams began the match very balanced with the score being 10-10 after 20 points, but a May kill on the next point gave A-State a lead it wouldn’t surrender. The Red Wolves closed the set on a 15-6 run with May earning the last kill of the set in a 25-16 win.
The second game was also very even as the score was 16-16 after a kill by Jones for the home team. However, Texas State finished the game on a 9-4 run and won the set 25-20 to tie the match at 1-1 going into intermission.
The Bobcats and Red Wolves played a very even third set through 28 points with the score tied 14-14, but a 3-0 run by the visitors made the score 17-14. A-State went on a 4-1 run, capped by a Graff kill, to tie the set at 18-18. The set was tied 22-22 before two straight points by the Bobcats put them in control. A Reis block got the Red Wolves within 24-23, but a Madison Daigle kill for Texas State gave the visitors a 25-23 set victory and 2-1 edge in the match.
Arkansas State returns to action Friday, Oct. 23 in another home match against ULM. First serve from the Convocation Center is set for 6 p.m.