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Volleyball: Senior Night Win Returns Cajuns to Top of Sun Belt West

Team photo after Senior Day program Oct. 28, 2017.

LAFAYETTE – In a night filled with landmark moments, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team returned to the top of the Sun Belt Conference West Division with a 3-2 (25-27, 25-23, 25-12, 21-25, 15-8) win over Texas State on Senior Night at Earl K. Long Gym.
Head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot tied the school record for wins, equaling the program-record 136 established by Wilo Colon from 1986-90. The win was also the first-ever for the Ragin’ Cajuns (17-9, 10-2 Sun Belt) over the Bobcats (18-8, 9-2 Sun Belt).
Senior outside hitter Stacey Reilly collected her 1,000th career kill to become the second Ragin’ Cajun, joining former teammate Chanelle Gardner, to reach the mark in the rally scoring era. Reilly upped her total to 1,011 which moved her past Gardner (1,000) for the career lead in the era.
After Texas State slipped by in a first-set nailbiter (14 ties, six lead changes), Louisiana never trailed in picking up back-to-back triumphs capped off by a dominant third set in which the squad landed 14 kills playing error-free.
The Bobcats hit .308 and took advantage of seven Ragin’ Cajuns attack errors to even the match. Louisiana was in control from first serve to the final whistle in the winner-take-all fifth set, racing by the visitors with an 11-4 kills edge to claim the match.
The Ragin’ Cajuns closed out their home schedule for the 2017 season. It was also the final time competing inside Earl K. Long Gym for the senior class that includes Jessica Bartczyszyn, Chynna Brooks, Chloe Cordell and Reilly.
Reilly finished tied with Dree’Ana Abram with a match-high 16 kills, leading a Cajuns quartet in double digits that also included a season-high 15 kills from Hanna Rovira and 10 kills from freshman Hali Wisnoskie.
Abram (16 K, 1 E, 31 TA) and Rovira (15 K, 3 E, 28 TA) provided the big blows for the Ragin’ Cajuns offense, hitting .484 and .429 respectively.
Bartczyszyn handed out 49 assists and scooped 16 digs for a double-double in her last time directing the offense at E.K. Long Gym.
Libero Sydney Davis hauled in a career-high 34 digs and passed out six assists. Davis had at least five digs each set including six in the winner-take-all fifth frame.
Louisiana had an equal or greater number of blocks than the opposition for the 12th straight match, holding a 9-7 advantage over the Bobcats spurned by four apiece from Abram and Wisnoskie.
Louisiana embarks on a regular season-ending, four-match road trip that precedes the Sun Belt Conference Tournament (Nov. 16-19 in Jonesboro, Ark.). The Ragin’ Cajuns start the stretch in Alabama next weekend facing South Alabama on Friday (Nov. 3) and Troy on Saturday (Nov. 4).
– Texas State’s 21-12 advantage in kills was enough to outlast the Ragin’ Cajuns in an opening set that saw neither team lead by more than two points. It was back-to-back kills from Amy Pflughaupt and Madison Daigle that snapped a 25-all tie and gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
– The Ragin’ Cajuns won a challenge at 19-all in the second set, preventing the Bobcats from taking their first lead. Texas State forced a pair of ties over the next three rallies, but a service error by Erin Hoppe opened the door for Louisiana. Reilly followed up with a kill that gave the hosts an all-important two-point cushion.
– With a pair of Rovira kills and an Abram ace the Ragin’ Cajuns stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the third set. Louisiana put the set away when four straight kills off the hands of Abram opened a 19-9 lead.
– Louisiana scored the first three points of the fourth frame, however Texas State countered with three straight to draw even. The Bobcats broke free from a 9-all tie after a Tyeranee Scott kill and a pair of Cajuns miscues made it 12-9 and they maintained the lead through the end.
– Kills from Bartczyszyn and Abram gave Louisiana the first two points of the decisive fifth set. The Ragin’ Cajuns began to pull away after Hoppe missed a serve and the Bobcats were forced into consecutive errors resulting in a 5-1 lead. Texas State pulled within three, 11-8, but that’s a close it would get as Wisnoskie posted a kill off a block triggering a set-and match-ending 4-0 run.
–  Stacey Reilly added 14 digs to her offensive output, marking her 37th career double-double. The 16 kills represented her 56th career match (out of 113) with double digits in kills.
Hanna Rovira‘s season-high 15 kills were the most she’s recorded since posting the exact amount on Sept. 2, 2016 vs. Air Force.
Dree’Ana Abram‘s 16 kills marked her career-high tally, topping the 14 kills off 31 swings she posted against Arkansas State back on Sept. 29. Saturday night’s production moved Abram on 200 kills in her career.
Hali Wisnoskie‘s 10 kills marked the third straight match the freshman outside hitter has reached double digits and 14th occurrence overall in her rookie campaign.
Jessica Bartczyszyn increased her season assists total to 958, moving her within 42 assists of reaching 1,000 for the second straight season.
– Louisiana hit .250 for the contest and has now hit at or above .200 in all but one Sun Belt Conference outing this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns are hitting .226 in league play while holding the opposition to .170.
– The Ragin’ Cajuns 10 Sun Belt Conference wins marks the first time since the 2000 season (11-5) that the program reaches double digit wins in league play.
– Louisiana finished 11-3 at Earl K. Long Gym in the 2017 season. The squad reached double digits in facility for the first time since 2014 (11-4). The Ragin’ Cajuns record at E.K. Long Gym under the guidance of Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot improved to 69-54 (.561).
For more information on Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball, as well as all of Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along with the team on Facebook (/ULVolleyball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB).