Arkansas State volleyball sweeps Tiger Brawl, improves to 9-3
On Friday in the first day of the Tiger Brawl, the Arkansas State volleyball team extended its winning streak to four matches with wins over UT Martin and Memphis at the Larry O. Finch Center.
Three players posted double-digit kills on Saturday morning at the Larry O. Finch Center, helping Arkansas State volleyball to a 3-1 victory over in-state foe Arkansas-Pine Bluff to cap off an undefeated weekend at the Tiger Brawl.
MATCH 1 | A-STATE 3, UT MARTIN 1 (25-17, 25-27, 26-24, 25-23)
Macey Putt led the way with 20 kills and a blistering .354 attack percentage as Arkansas State held off UT Martin for a 3-1 victory Friday morning to open play at the Tiger Brawl. A-State defeated the Skyhawks for the second time this season and extended its streak in the series to seven straight victories.
The Scarlet and Black now lead the all-time series with UT Martin 27-11.
After A-State took a 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-17 opening-set victory, the Skyhawks tied it up with a tightly-contested set that went into extra points, winning 27-25.
The Red Wolves weathered another extended set en route to a 2-1 lead, winning the third set 26-24 before taking the match with a close 25-23 victory in the fourth set.
Putt added 9 digs, 3 blocks and a pair of aces to her credit on the day, while Josie Stanford tallied 12 kills with a .323 attack percentage. Lauren Musante posted a double-double with 27 assists and 12 digs, as did Julianna Cramer (13 assists, 10 digs). Tatum Ticknor led A-State with 26 digs.
MATCH 2 | A-STATE 3, MEMPHIS 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-19)
Arkansas State closed the first day of the Tiger Brawl in dominating fashion, becoming the first team to sweep Memphis, a team that has taken all seven of its wins in straight sets.
Macey Putt once again led the Red Wolves offensively, powering 15 kills with 8 digs and 3 blocks. Kendahl Davenport and Josie Stanford were forces at the net, recording 8 and 7 blocks, respectively. Lauren Musante (16 assists, 10 digs) and Julianna Cramer (17 assists, 15 digs) posted double-doubles for the second time on the day. Tatum Ticknor led A-State on the back row with 18 digs.
A-State took an early 12-4 lead in the opening set before the Tigers clawed back to take a lead late in the set, holding set point up 24-22. The Red Wolves did not falter in the face of early adversity, winning four straight points to take the set 26-24 and lead 1-0 in the match.
Similarly, in the second, A-State led early but weathered a late Memphis run to tie it up at 19-all. The Scarlet and Black closed out the frame on a 6-1 run to win 25-20 and take a commanding two-set lead.
The third set saw the Red Wolves ride the wave of momentum to take a lead it would not relinquish, leading by as much as seven, en route to completing the sweep of the Tigers.
The win over Memphis marked the seventh straight in the series, moving A-State to 30-29 all-time series, while also signaling the second consecutive sweep versus the Tigers.
MATCH 3 | A-STATE 3, UAPB 1 (25-23, 25-20, 25-27, 25-16)
A-State (9-3) remained composed after dropping the third set to the Lady Lions (1-12) to take the fourth set handily and seal the victory to improve to 26-0 all-time in the series against UAPB. The Red Wolves were stout defensively, holding the Lady Lions to an attack percentage of just .091 while out-digging UAPB 80-68.
Tatum Ticknor earned Tournament MVP honors, while Josie Stanford and Kendahl Davenport joined her on the all-tournament squad.
In Saturday’s victory over UAPB, Elizabeth Phillips led A-State offensively with a career-high 11 kills to accompany a trio of aces, 8 digs and a pair of blocks. Brianna Hollingshed posted a strong day in the middle, notching 10 kills on 18 error-free attacks for an attack percentage of .556. The Pickerington, Ohio, native also knocked down a team-best 5 blocks. Macey Putt once again tallied double-digit kills, with 10 to go along with 9 digs.
Lauren Musante piloted the Red Wolves’ attack, handing out 25 assists with a season-high 26 digs, while Kassidy Reeves also posted a double-double with 15 assists and 11 digs. Ticknor registered a double-double as well, with 11 assists and 15 digs.
A-State led throughout the opening set, although UAPB tightened it up late with a 4-0 run to save four set points. A kill by Phillips ended the threat, however, handing her team a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second, A-State surged to an early 10-2 lead before the Lady Lions cut it to a 16-15 deficit midway through the set. The Red Wolves held off another late run by UAPB to take the second set 25-20 and lead 2-0 in the match.
UAPB did not go down easily, extending the match with a 27-25 decision in the third frame to try to escape with the comeback victory. A resurgent A-State squad that led wire-to-wire in the fourth set thwarted that effort, however, ousting the Lady Lions 25-16 to take the victory.
A-State now turns its attention to Sun Belt Conference play and remains on the road to open league action. The Red Wolves travel east to the Carolinas to face Appalachian State (Friday, 5:30 p.m. CT) in Boone, N.C., before traveling to Conway, S.C., for a match with conference power Coastal Carolina (Sun., 11 a.m. CT).
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.
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