A-State volleyball falls in non-conference finale
Arkansas State volleyball battled in a back-and-forth third set with hopes of extending its match at Stephen F. Austin, but ultimately dropped a three-set decision to the host Ladyjacks inside Shelton Gym.
A-State (5-7) led for much of both the second and third sets, but late runs by SFA (12-1) proved to be the difference in the Red Wolves’ non-conference finale.
Macey Putt led Arkansas State with nine kills, while Elise Wilcox and Ilayda Dincer added six apiece. Putt also registered three aces, with Wilcox accounting for a pair. Lauren Musante tallied 17 assists and seven digs.
Defensively, Dincer and Sarah Martinez tied with Musante for the team lead with seven digs.
SET 1 – SFA 25, A-STATE 17
Stephen F. Austin led for the entire opening set and took an early 4-0 lead. A-State trimmed the deficit down to 7-4 after a kill by Putt and an attack error by the Ladyjacks. SFA’s advantage expanded to 16-8 before another Putt kill made it 17-12. An A-State timeout came at 19-12, then a block by Dincer and Kyla Wiersema later saved a set point. The hosts went on to clinch the set on the next point on a kill by Izabella Ortiz.
SET 2 – SFA 25, A-STATE 18
Arkansas State came out of the set break and took an early lead, leading by as much as 10-6 following a Wilcox kill and SFA attack error. The Ladyjacks would then tie it at 12 and take a slight lead. After the Red Wolves reclaimed a 14-13 edge, a 7-0 run put SFA ahead 20-14. A kill by Wilcox and back-to-back aces by Putt pulled the Scarlet and Black to within three at 21-18, but the Ladyjacks claimed the final four points of the set to take a two-set lead in the match.
SET 3 – SFA 25, A-STATE 21
The Red Wolves started strong again in the third set, leading 4-1 after a solo block by Wiersema. SFA clawed back to tie it at 8-all on an ace before a 4-0 run by A-State, capped by a Kassidy Reeves ace, made it 12-8 and forced a timeout. The Ladyjacks tied it at 16 after a 3-0 run to force an A-State timeout.
SFA’s first lead of the set came at 17-16, but Wilcox promptly evened the score with a solo block on the next point. An ace by Martinez made it 19-18 A-State before the Ladyjacks sided out to spark a 3-0 run and force an A-State timeout. Stephen F. Austin took two more points to lead 23-19 before a Dincer kill halted the run. SFA closed by taking two of the final three points to clinch the match.
A-State returns home to open Sun Belt Conference play, hosting Georgia Southern in a two-match series Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.). Both matches will be broadcasted live on ESPN+.
Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State Red Wolves Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.
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