Watkins has 51 assists as A-State volleyball wins home opener

Watkins has 51 assists as A-State volleyball wins home opener

Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics

Carlisa May and Macey Putt combined for 41 kills as the Arkansas State volleyball team defeated Central Arkansas 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22) Thursday night at First National Bank Arena to begin the A-State Invitational.

May connected on 24 kills in the match on a .300 attacking percentage, while Putt posted 17 of her own to lead the Red Wolves (6-5) to their fourth straight win. Ellie Watkins dished out a season-high 51 assists, while Peyton Uhlenhake added eight kills on a .357 attacking percentage. Defensively, Tatum Ticknor led the Red Wolves with 17 digs, while May added 10 for her team-high fourth double-double. Isabel Theut led A-State with four blocks with Madison Turner adding three.

A-State out hit UCA (8-3) .247-.232 and had five aces to the visitor’s one. Both teams posted seven blocks, but the Sugar Bears had 59 digs to the Red Wolves’ 57. Samantha Anderson recorded 18 kills for UCA, while Savannah Allen chipped in with 14.

“I knew this would be a fight tonight,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “UCA has a good team, but our squad remembers losing to them last year so we were motivated to have a good showing in home opener. I thought we played well and they made some adjustments in the third set, but we were able to respond in the fourth and get us the win. We can usually count on Carlisa (May) to be solid, but whenever Macey (Putt) plays as strong as she did we can be hard to beat.”

The Red Wolves fell behind 20-17 in set one, before a 5-0 run, finished by a kill from Putt, put the home team on top 22-20. UCA was able to tie the frame at 23-23, but two consecutive kills by Uhlenhake gave the set to A-State 25-23. Arkansas State was the first to 15 in set two and led 15-11 to force a Sugar Bears’ timeout. The stoppage didn’t slow A-State down as the Red Wolves cruised to a 25-18 set two victory.

A-State jumped in front 11-7 in set three, but an 11-2 run put UCA ahead 18-13 to control the frame as the Sugar Bears claimed the set 25-19. The fourth set was back-and-forth until the Red Wolves extended their advantage to 17-14 to force a timeout by Central Arkansas. The Sugar Bears fought to within one of A-State at 19-18, but the home team responded with a 6-4 run to close the set with a kill by May clinching match point at 25-22.

Arkansas State returns to action in the A-State Invitational tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. against Southern Illinois inside First National Bank Arena. Friday’s action gets started at 10:30 a.m. with Jackson State playing SIU before Central Arkansas plays the Lady Tigers at 3:30 p.m.

Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest updates regarding the team.

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