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Volleyball: Antoine leads Cajuns to sweep opening match with Troy

The Advertiser, Oct. 5, 2016

Nia Antoine produced 13 kills and hit .650 to lead the offense for the Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team, which posted a straight sets sweep (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) of Troy in the opening match of Homecoming weekend held Friday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.

The Cajuns (9-18, 5-7 Sun Belt) hit at least .240 in each set capped by a match-best .424 clip in the third set which sealed the sweep.

UL, which hit .317 for the match, played with the lead nearly the entire night. The lone deficits came at 3-1 in the opening set and following a service error on the first rally of the second set.

The Cajuns will hold an alumni match at 10 a.m. Saturday at Earl K. Long Gym, then wrap up Homecoming weekend on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. vs. South Alabama.

Stacey Reilly posted 11 kills on 31 swings with a .258 hitting percentage. The Houston native posted double-digit kills for the fourth straight match and 21st time overall this season.

Katherine Young added eight kills on 19 swings and Chloe Cordell had six kills on 19 swings to supplement the Ragin’ Cajuns offense behind Antoine and Reilly.

Setter Jessica Bartczyszyn handed out 37 assists to increase her season figure to 1,010, giving her the first 1,000-plus assist campaign of her career.

Lafayette High product McKenzie John led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 10 digs. Sydney Davis (8), Bartczyszyn (7) and Reilly (6) backed her up.

Belle Waldrop led Troy (8-22, 2-11 Sun Belt) with 10 kills. Bethany Cullity scooped a match-high 14 digs.

UL took control of the first set and snapped a 4-all tie with a kill from Reilly, Antoine ace and block by Reilly to forge ahead 7-4. The final push was a 4-0 run, fueled by a pair of kills and Troy attack errors, which stretched the advantage to 18-12.

After the service error on the opening error of the second set, the Cajuns took back the momentum with back-to-back kills from Antoine to take the lead for good. The Trojans hung around and were within a point at 19-18. After a timeout, UL gained a sideout on a service error, then threw up a pair of blocks on a three-point spurt to create distance at 23-18.

The Ragin’ Cajuns .424 percentage in the third set, which featured 15 kills on 33 swings, allowed the squad to stay ahead of the Trojans to complete the sweep.