STATESBORO, Ga. (10/28/16) – The Arkansas State volleyball team registered its seventh straight sweep, tying for the most since the 1996 season, with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Georgia Southern Friday night at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro.
The seven sweeps in conference play are the most for A-State (19-7, 11-1 SBC) ever in the Sun Belt Conference and the most since eight straight sweeps of American South Conference foes in 1990.
Kelsey Reis and Shelby Holmes led the Red Wolves with 11 kills apiece on hitting percentages of .588 and .368, respectively. Kenzie Fields added 10 kills while Mallory Warrington handed out 32 assists. Markie Schaedig, celebrating her 22nd birthday, led the defensive effort with 21 digs, while Reis and Jessica Uke had four blocks each with Holmes adding a season-high three rejections. Arkansas State hit .197 as a team for its lowest percentage in a win this season.
"This was a tough match as the scores in the last two sets showed," A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. "They are a bad matchup for us with the size they have so they gave us some fits at times and it was a reason a couple of our main players struggled. However, you have to give credit to Reis and Holmes, especially, for stepping up offensively and defensively along with Schaedig and Uke on the defensive side."
The match began with a 6-6 tie that A-State quickly turned into a 9-6 edge with a 3-0 run, capped by an ace by Schaedig that forced a Georgia Southern (12-13, 4-5 SBC) timeout. A-State ran the run to 6-0 on a kill by Holmes and saw the Eagles use their second timeout down 12-6. The stoppages didn't slow the Red Wolves down as the run went to 9-0 before Georgia Southern scored to make the score 15-7. The visitors ran their lead to 11 on several occasions, the last being at 25-14 on a Fields kill to clinch a set one win.
A-State raced out to a 6-1 edge in set two on a Carlisa May kill and saw the Eagles use a timeout. The home team used a 5-0 run to tie the set and it remained much more competitive throughout with Georgia Southern taking an 18-17 advantage on a kill by Katie Bange. However, the Red Wolves went on a 6-0 run to go in front 23-18 on a kill by Holmes. The Eagles battled back to within 23-22 after a block, but kills by Holmes and Fields gave the Red Wolves a 25-22 set victory.
Georgia Southern jumped out to a 5-1 lead in set three before a 9-3 run by the Red Wolves gave the visitors a 10-8 edge and forced a timeout by the Eagles. Arkansas State took an 18-15 edge on a kill by Schaedig, but could never pull away, but earned match point at 24-21 on a kill by Uke. Georgia Southern won the next point, but a kill by Reis ended the set at 25-22 and the match 3-0.
Arkansas State faces Georgia State Saturday, Oct. 29 to complete its Georgia road swing. First serve from the GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta, Ga., is set for 5 p.m. (CT).