Volleyball: Mountaineers Rally in Finale Stages, Halt Ragin’ Cajuns Win Streak
Leads that slip away result in an end to Louisiana Volleyball’s five-match win streak
BOONE, N.C. – By reversing course in each of the final two sets Appalachian State pulled off a 3-1 (25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22) win over Louisiana Volleyball on Friday night at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers (6-13, 2-5 Sun Belt) dug out of a 22-18 deficit in during the third set of a tied match by tallying six consecutive points leading to a set win and the match lead. In the fourth set App State bounced back after trailing 10-5 and 15-11 to gradually pull even by the midway point of the set and eventually overcome the Ragin’ Cajuns (11-5, 6-2 Sun Belt).
For Louisiana, the loss snapped the team’s season-high five-match win streak.
App State was able to outlast Louisiana with advantages in kills (54-45) and digs (71-59). The Mountaineers used a script that was familiar to the Ragin’ Cajuns in recent outings, having four players score double figures in kills. Kelsey Bennett was the lone representative for Louisiana in double digits with 18 kills.
Each team took a turn establishing control early in the first two sets and running away to victory. The Mountaineers quickly jumped ahead 7-2 in the opening stanza, then the Ragin’ Cajuns responded by racing out to a 6-2 lead in the second frame.
Bennett went right down the line for a kill and an 18-17 lead as the race for the match lead heated up in the third set. Then it was Emery Judkins picking up a kill off the top of the block and the Ragin’ Cajuns had what seemed ample separation at 22-18.
The Mountaineers got a much needed side out and then won a critical challenge on the next rally to slice Louisiana’s lead to 22-20. The sudden change in momentum continued on as Victoria Wilform landed back-to-back kills to forge a tie, then a block and an ace capped off the set-altering rally by the hosts.
The early edge for Louisiana in the fourth set was fueled by four kills from Bennett as the lead grew to 10-5. Chinelo Ogogor landed a kill on the slide play to start a three-point spurt for the 15-11 lead.
App State responded with a 6-1 run to forge ahead 17-16. The Ragin’ Cajuns pulled into a tie three times and later got kills from Bennett down the stretch to close within a point, but the Mountaineers found a way to capture the side out and cling to the advantage.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Bennett took the vast majority of the swings for Louisiana, netting her match-high kills production (18) off of 48 total attempts. She scored 10 kills alone in the fourth set in an attempt to will the Ragin’ Cajuns to the winner-take-all scenario.
Judkins and Ogogor found success on the right side of the net by combining for 15 kills off a combined 46 attack attempts.
Five different Ragin’ Cajuns had a hand in multiple blocks, led by a team-best four blocks (1 BS, 3 BA) from Bennett. Both middle blockers Kara Barnes and Cami Hicks were in on three blocks.
Libero Hannah Ramirez scooped 16 digs to pace Louisiana’s efforts on the back row.
Reka Kotorman passed out 24 of the team’s 42 assists. Siena DeCambra added 11 digs to her 16 assists for her eighth double-double of the season.
After a day off to travel, the current three-match road trip for Louisiana concludes on Sunday (Oct. 17) in Conway, S.C., with a match against Sun Belt East Division leader Coastal Carolina (13-4, 7-0 Sun Belt) at the HTC Center.
The Ragin’ Cajuns and Chanticleers are scheduled to serve it up starting at 11 a.m. (CDT). The contest can be viewed on ESPN and live stats are accessible at CajunStats.com.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB), Facebook (/RaginCajunsVB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Volleyball.
- www.RaginCajuns.com -