JONESBORO, Ark. (11/5/16) – The Arkansas State volleyball team clinched the Sun Belt Conference West Division Championship with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-12) victory over Texas State Saturday night at the Convocation Center.
The Red Wolves (22-7, 14-1 SBC) clinched the West Division title with the win after Texas State (18-11, 11-3 SBC) lost to Little Rock last night and A-State in this match. Arkansas State also held its Senior Day activities with Jessica Heuertz, Shelby Holmes, Kelsey Reis, Markie Schaedig, and Mallory Warrington playing their final match at the Convocation Center. The team also honored Darby Graff, who would have been a senior this year, but had her career cut short for medical reasons.
A-State hit .310 on the night and held the Bobcats to a .077 mark, which is the sixth lowest by an opponent this season. Jessica Uke led the team with 10 kills on a season-best hitting percentage of .714, which is the highest by an A-State player this year. Carlisa May added nine, while Reis had eight kills on a .500 attacking percentage.
Warrington recorded her team-best 13th double-double of the season with 35 assists and a team-high 20 digs, while Schaedig tallied 13 on the night. Warrington led the team with three service aces on the night, while Reis had five blocks to lead the team.
"This was a fun game and I'm proud of the kids because they executed the game plan perfectly," A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. "Our kids didn't get frustrated when times were rough and kept grinding. We knew the stakes and we were kind of in the same situation last year. We talked a lot about finishing the games and we did that in the first two before winning the third game easier."
The first set was close early with an ace by Warrington giving A-State a 14-11 advantage that forced a timeout by Texas State. The home team was able to stretch the lead to 22-18 and won three of the final four points, the last on a kill by Holmes, to win the set 25-19.
The second game was similar with A-State going ahead 12-8 on a block by Warrington and Reis to cause the Bobcats to use a timeout. However, Texas State battled back to within 15-13 on a kill by Lauren Kirch to force A-State to call timeout. The Red Wolves went on a 6-3 run, capped by a Reis kill, after the stoppage to go ahead 21-16. Texas State called timeout, but couldn't slow the Red Wolves down as the home team went on to win the set 25-19 after a service error.
The third, and what proved to be the final, set was much different with Arkansas State racing out to a 9-4 edge on a block by Reis and Fields. Texas State used another timeout, but A-State continued to dominate the game and was out in front 20-9 before the Bobcats called their final timeout of the set. A-State won five of the final eight points to claim a 25-12 win and clinch a 3-0 match win.
The win for the Red Wolves is their 10th straight with nine of the 10 victories being sweeps. It is also the 1,001st win in program history and a number of former letter winners were honored at the intermission between sets two and three for their role, including the first head coach of the program Kay Woodiel.
The Red Wolves wrap up the regular season Saturday, Nov. 12 at Little Rock. First serve from the Jack Stephens Center is set for 6:30 p.m. A win for Arkansas State over the Trojans would give A-State the top seed in the SBC Tournament.