Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics
JONESBORO, Ark. (11/7/20) – Owning a two-set lead on Saturday, Arkansas State was not able to complete the upset, as 13th-ranked Texas State escaped with a 3-2 win in Saturday’s regular-season finale at First National Bank Arena.
A-State (8-8, 8-8 Sun Belt Conference) recorded a season-high 16.0 blocks in its bid for the first win over a ranked foe in program history, but the Bobcats (19-1, 14-0) got 30 kills from Janell Fitzgerald en route to taking the third, fourth and fifth sets.
Macey Putt led the Red Wolves with a double-double performance of 16 kills and 14 digs. The Ozark, Missouri, native served two of A-State’s five aces. Josie Stanford notched 11 kills and five blocks while Mariah Hesselgesser drew the starting nod and tallied a match-high and career-best seven blocks. Kendahl Davenport also notched six blocks while Brianna Hollingshed totaled five.
Tatum Ticknor collected a match-high 24 digs with six assists and an ace, while Lauren Musante led A-State with 23 assists. Julianna Cramer also aided in the offense with 19 assists.
Fitzgerald also notched six blocks in addition to her 30 kills. Emily DeWalt dished out 52 assists with 17 digs. Kayla Granado led with 22 digs while Lauren Teske and Michelle Foster each posted 10 digs.
SET 1 – A-State 25-23
A-State grabbed an early 3-1 lead on kills by Putt and Stanford before Texas State tied it up at 3-all. The Red Wolves then reclaimed a 7-5 lead, but the Bobcats reeled off five of the next six points to lead 10-8. Back-to-back kills by Fitzgerald and Tyeranee Scott made it 14-11 and force an A-State timeout. After the break in action, the Red Wolves reclaimed the lead at 16-14 with a 5-0 run that included a pair of Hesselgesser kills. Texas State then scored three straight to lead 17-16 and force another A-State timeout.
With Texas State leading 19-17, A-State went on a 4-0 run to lead 21-19 and force the Bobcats to call a timeout. After Texas State reclaimed the lead at 22-21, kills by Stanford and an attack error by Fitzgerald ended the set with the Red Wolves winning 25-23 to lead 1-0 in the match.
As a team, A-State hit .318 with Stanford leading with six kills. Musante handed out 10 assists while Stanford also notched a pair of blocks.
SET 2 – A-State 25-22
The Red Wolves opened the second set with more fire, taking a 5-3 lead to start. Texas State reclaimed an 8-7 lead on an ace by Teske before A-State battled back to lead 10-8 on a solo block by Davenport. The Bobcats then took a 14-12 lead, but the Scarlet and Black rallied to lead 15-14 on an ace by Putt. After the media timeout, Texas State led 17-15, but the Red Wolves kept firing, responding with a 3-0 run to lead 19-18 on a kill by Putt.
After Texas State reclaimed a 21-19 lead on a 3-0 run, A-State tied it up at 21 on a block by Davenport and Hesselgesser. The Bobcats got a kill by Scott to lead 22-21, but the Red Wolves scored the last four points of the set, culminating in a kill by Hollingshed to take the second frame 25-22 and lead 2-0 in the match.
As a team, A-State held the Bobcats to an attack percentage of just .059 in the set, while hitting .229. Putt led in kills with six, with Cramer supplying six assists.
SET 3 – Texas State 25-22
The Bobcats opened with an early 3-1 lead before A-State tied it up at five on kills by Hesselgesser and Davenport. A 9-2 Texas State run gave the Bobcats a 14-7 lead but the Red Wolves cut it to 17-14 with a 5-1 run. The Bobcats scored five straight to extend their lead to 22-14 before A-State took eight of the next 10 points to make it 24-22 and force a Texas State timeout. Texas State then took set point after the timeout to force a fourth set.
SET 4 – Texas State 25-21
A-State bounced back to open the fourth set with a 4-2 lead, but then Texas State scored three straight to lead 6-5. The Bobcats held on to their lead for much of the set until a 5-1 A-State run tied things up at 19-all on an attack error. After Texas State took a 22-20 lead, the Red Wolves cut it to 22-21. The Bobcats then took three straight points to end the set and force a match-deciding fifth set.
SET 5 – Texas State 15-5
The Red Wolves started off the final set with a kill by Stanford, with the Bobcats responding to lead 3-1. Kills by Hesselgesser and Davenport tied up the set at 3-all, but Texas State went on to take 10 straight points to hold a commanding 13-3 lead. A service error cut it to 13-4 and a kill by Fitzgerald gave Texas State match point up 14-4. Davenport saved a match point for the Red Wolves to make it 14-5 but Scott ended things with a kill.
A-State has concluded its regular season and now looks ahead to the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Tournament, held Nov. 18-22 in Foley, Ala. Teams will be split into four three-team pools, with the winner of each pool advancing to the semifinals.
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 news and updates regarding the team.