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Volleyball: Cajuns Stay Undefeated In Claiming Tournament Title

 

LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns kept their season-opening win streak alive with two more wins over Nicholls and Northwestern State on Saturday, the final day of the Sawyer Camillo Classic to claim its second straight tournament crown of the year.

 

Andrea Hole was named the tournament MVP, while Chanelle Gardner and Stacey Reilly were also named to the all-tournament team.

 

The 7-0 start for the Ragin’ Cajuns is the third-longest streak to open a campaign in program history, trailing only a 13-match start by the 1990 team and an eight-match win streak by the 1986 squad.

 

Louisiana will try to keep their streak going next week when they travel to the University of Houston for three matches versus Sam Houston State, Oral Roberts and Houston at the Flo Hyman Classic beginning Friday.

 

Louisiana 3, Nicholls 0

 

Stacey Reilly had 13 kills and 15 digs, hitting .303 as the Ragin’ Cajuns swept by Nicholls, 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-23) in its first match of Saturday.

 

The Cajuns hit .265 for the match, and held the Colonels (3-2) to just .112 swinging, with Kaci Eaton’s 17 kills accounting for more than half of Nicholls’ 34 kills as a team.

 

Sara Mossakowski joined Reilly with a double-double, going for 10 kills and 12 digs. Meanwhile, Hole earned her fifth double-double in the first six matches of the season with 30 assists and 10 digs to go with two blocks and three kills from her setter spot.

 

Louisiana found itself tied at 9-9 in the first set before going on an 11-2 run that included three kills from Reilly. The Cajuns committed just two errors in the set, while forcing eight Colonel miscues, while three service errors contributed to the final five Louisiana points of the set.

 

The Cajuns steadily spaced out the lead in the second frame, leading by as much as six points at the 18-13 mark on a kill from Mossakowski. Louisiana put together its best offensive set of the match in the second frame, scoring 15 kills with just three missed swings to hit .414.

 

In the third, Louisiana found itself down for the first time in the match, 15-12 midway through the set before going on a 9-1 run behind the serves of Caitlyn Auxilien and freshman Keely Hayes to put the Cajuns up 21-16. Gardner and Mossakowski added kills just points after the run, before consecutive kills from Mossakowski and Reilly finished off the Colonels for the fifth time in their last six meetings.

 

Louisiana 3, Northwestern State 1

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns had five players with at least 10 digs, and Chanelle Gardner pumped in a season-high 14 kills, helping Louisiana pick up its first come-from-behind win of the season, 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-15) over Northwestern State in the tournament finale.

 

Gardner needed just 25 swings to notch her 14 scores, hitting .400 for the match. Abby Filce was not far behind with 11 kills and three blocks, while Andrea Hole had 46 assists, 11 digs and five kills.

 

In all, the Cajuns finished with 15 more kills than the Demons, and held Northwestern State to just .138 hitting for the night. The Cajuns were edged in blocks, 10-4, but picked up nine service aces and finished with 17 more digs.

 

Sara Mossakowski had nine kills and 15 digs, and Stacey Reilly had 16 digs to go with her seven kills. Kaylee Nemeth just missed double figures with nine kills, while Auxilien had 15 digs and Keely Hayes 10 of her own.

 

Louisiana found itself down a set for the first time this season when the Demons, who upset No. 15 Missouri last week, took the opening frame behind .306 hitting. Northwestern State took the lead on a Cajun service error that opened up a 7-0 Demon run, breaking a 16-16 tie.

 

But after that, it was all Cajuns. Louisiana held the Demons to just .082 hitting in the final three sets, including .031 in Set 2 and .000 in Set 4. Meanwhile, the Cajuns were at .253 in the final two sets after using a late 6-1 run to overcome a tough hitting set in the second frame.

 

#GeauxCajuns

 

———–

 

Ben Rikard

 

Assistant Sports Information Director

 

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics

 

(O): 337-482-6330

 

(C): 936-554-2077

 

Twitter: @BenRikard