Houston, TX (A-State) – The Arkansas State volleyball squad swept Stephen F. Austin 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-21) Saturday afternoon at the Rice adidas Invitational II to wrap up nonconference play at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, Texas.
Carlisa May and Drew Jones led the Red Wolves (7-6) with 12 kills apiece, while Peyton Uhlenhake added nine on a career-best .500 attacking percentage. Kenzie Fields handed out 36 assists and had nine digs, while Tatum Ticknor posted 15 digs to lead the team. Jessica Uke recorded eight kills and led the squad with four blocks. KK Payne led the Ladyjacks (12-3) with 10 kills.
“We played much better today and had a better collective effort both defensively and offensively,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “The kids put it on themselves after last night’s loss and really got after it today on their own, more so than me and the coaching staff having to light the fire under them. So that was really great to see. They owned it and worked hard to improve and we did that today against a good Stephen F. Austin team. Now it’s time to get back and get ready for SBC play.”
A-State raced out to a 7-1 advantage in set one, but SFA battled back to within 17-14 later in the set. However, the Red Wolves used a 5-2 run to gain a 22-16 edge and wouldn’t look back as a kill by Uke clinched a 25-19 set one win. Arkansas State jumped out to a 13-10 lead in set two after an Uhlenhake kill that forced a timeout by the Ladyjacks. After the stoppage, A-State couldn’t pull away and only led 21-20 before ending the frame on a 4-1 run to win the second set 25-21.
Stephen F. Austin jumped in front 13-10 in set three and maintained the three-point edge at 16-13 before a 7-2 A-State run gave the Red Wolves a 20-18 lead. SFA pulled within one at 21-20, but two straight points, the last coming on an ace by Ryley Gill, put Arkansas State ahead 23-20. After a Ladyjacks’ timeout, a block by Fields and Uke put A-State out front 24-20 and a bad set by Stephen F. Austin two points later gave the Red Wolves a 25-21 set win and 3-0 sweep.
Jones and Uke were named to the All-Tournament team for the event. Jones led the team with 44 kills and added 24 digs along with seven blocks defensively as she earned her fifth career All-Tournament nod and second of the season. Uke hit .449 with 27 kills and added a team-best 11 blocks along with two aces to pick up her second career All-Tournament accolade.
Arkansas State returns to action with its Sun Belt Conference opener against Coastal Carolina Friday, Sept. 22. First serve from the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark., is set for 6:30 p.m.