Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State and Appalachian State volleyball squads played an epic fifth set with the Red Wolves able to claim a thrilling 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 25-23, 18-25, 22-20) victory Saturday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.
A-State (8-7, 1-1 SBC) jumped out to an 11-7 advantage in set five to force an App State (6-10, 1-1 SBC) timeout and had match point at 14-11 after a block by Timber Terrell. However, the Mountaineers came back and tied it 14-14 to set up multiple extra points. A-State earned six match points, the last coming at 21-20 before a kill by Drew Jones gave the home team the 22-20 game five victory and thrilling 3-2 match win.
“I’m proud of the fight in our team, but we had some bad stretches where we didn’t play like we’re capable of in this match,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “I’m very proud of Sheridan (Webb) and you can’t ever take conference wins for granted. Appalachian State fought hard and it was really a match either team could have won. I’m just glad we came out on top.”
Three players posted double-doubles for the Red Wolves including Sheridan Webb (57 assists, 11 digs), Kenzie Fields (13 kills, 14 digs), and Jones (11 kills, 13 digs). Carlisa May led the team with 16 kills, while Terrell posted a career-high 13 kills on a .435 hitting percentage with a career-high seven blocks. Tatum Ticknor picked up 21 digs to lead the team, while Jones tied a career high with six blocks.
Arkansas State out hit the Apps .249-.190, but had 14 service errors to only one ace, while the visitors had five aces against 10 errors. The Red Wolves managed a season-best 14 blocks during the match to only six for App State. Kara Spicer led the Mountaineers with 19 kills, while Melissa McMath added 15. Setter Ashlyn Brown handed out 63 assists and had 12 digs.
The first set was knotted at 8-8 through 16 points, but A-State claimed a five-point edge at 19-14 on a kill by May. Appalachian State battled to within two at 23-21, but a kill by Jessica Uke and attack error gave A-State a 25-21 win in set one. The Red Wolves appeared to be in control of set two at 21-17 after a block by Uke and Webb, but App State responded to go ahead 24-23 with a 7-2 run. A-State won the next point, but two straight points for the Mountaineers gave them a 26-24 victory.
The third set was close throughout, but the Apps appeared to have control late at 22-19 after an ace by Emma Reilly. However a 4-0 run, capped by a Terrell kill, put the home team in front 23-22. App State won the next point, but a kill by Fields and block by Jones and Uke gave A-State a 25-23 win. The Mountaineers raced out to a 10-6 lead in set four and never looked back. The Red Wolves battled to within 17-14, but the Apps closed the set on an 8-4 run to claim a 25-18 triumph that set up the epic fifth set.
Arkansas State hits the road for its next match as the Red Wolves travel to Lafayette, La., to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns Friday, Sept. 29. First serve from Earl K. Long Gym is set for 6:30 p.m.