St. Louis, MO (A-State) – The Arkansas State volleyball squad rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Cal Poly 3-2 (17-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-11) before falling to No. 19 Western Kentucky 3-1 (18-25, 27-25, 18-25, 21-25) as the team split two matches on the final day of the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic being hosted by Saint Louis University at Chaifetz Pavilion in St. Louis, Mo.
A-State (4-2) never led in set one versus Cal Poly (4-2), but did manage to get within 16-14 after an attack error. However, the Mustangs closed the set on a 9-3 run for the 25-17 win. The second set was more competitive throughout, but A-State never claimed a lead after scoring the first point. The Red Wolves got within 24-23 after a ball-handling error, but a kill secured the 25-23 set for the Mustangs.
However, Arkansas State raced out to a 10-4 advantage in set three after a Kenzie Fields kill, but Cal Poly moved ahead 19-18 later in the game. The Red Wolves responded with a 7-3 run, capped by a Kelsey Reis kill, to win 25-22 and forced a fourth set.
A-State jumped out to a 10-5 edge in set four after a block by Brentlee Weaver and Anna Murphy. The Mustangs never really threatened too much more in the set, but did get within three of the Red Wolves at 23-20. A-State wasted little time clinching the set with back-to-back kills by Fields and Carlisa May for a 25-20 victory that forced a decisive game five.
The Red Wolves wasted little time by jumping out to a 4-1 edge the team wouldn't relinquish. Cal Poly didn't go down without a fight as the Mustangs battled to within one point at 10-9, but a 5-2 run, finished with a block by Reis and Mallory Warrington gave the Red Wolves a 15-11 win and 3-2 come-from-behind victory in the match.
"I'm so proud of the team for stepping up and being able to beat Cal Poly," A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. "It can be easy for a team, especially one like ours that had so much success last season to get down when they face some adversity, but we kept battling and were able to beat a really good team."
Fields and May led the team with 18 kills apiece, while Reis (14) and Murphy (13) also tallied double-digit scores. Warrington picked up her third double-double of the season with 58 assists and 16 digs, while also leading the team with three blocks. Fields picked up her first double-double of her career with 11 digs, while Markie Schaedig led the team with 28 and Jessica Heuertz added 13.
In the match versus WKU (6-1) the Red Wolves fell behind 15-6 in set one and never threatened as the Lady Toppers won it 25-18. The second set was much tighter with A-State finding themselves at set point ahead 24-23 after a kill by May. WKU flipped things with two straight points for set point at 25-24, but Arkansas State scored three straight, including two kills by May, to win the set 27-25.
Both teams battled to a 6-6 score to being set three, but WKU took over from that point and ended up winning the game 25-18 for a 2-1 advantage in the match. The Red Wolves responded with a much closer effort in set four and held a 20-19 edge late in the set on a Weaver kill. However, the Lady Toppers closed the game on a 6-1 run to claim a 25-21 set win and 3-1 match victory.
"We lost to a ranked team that executed better than we did tonight," added Rehr. "Playing a tough non-conference schedule is preparing our team for the future. We didn't get the result we wanted in this match, but I feel like we will be a better team for having played them."
May led the team with 17 kills, while Weaver (13) and Fields (13) were also in double digits. Warrington dished out 54 assists and had nine digs to fall one shy of a double-double. Schaedig led the team with 20 digs, while Lindsay Cline added 10 of her own. WKU had 12 blocks on the night to just two for the Red Wolves.
Warrington was named to the all-tournament team for the event. The Lake St. Louis, Mo., native dished out 161 assists (12.38 per set) during the event and also had 28 digs, three kills, three aces, and three blocks over the course of the weekend.