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Volleyball: Solid Effort Helps Cajuns Earn Historic Win Over UT Arlington

Cajuns win third straight and match 2013 win total

LAFAYETTE – Sara Mossakowski recorded a team-high 11 kills and Andrea Hole posted a double-double with 37 assists and 16 digs as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team earned a three-set victory (25-21, 25-19, 25-16) over UT Arlington in a Sun Belt Conference match on Friday at Earl K. Long Gym.
Caitlyn Auxilien posted 19 digs while Chanelle Gardner and Kaylee Nemeth each posted nine kills and five blocks to lead Louisiana (19-11, 8-10 Sun Belt) to its third consecutive victory and its first-ever win over UTA (22-8, 12-5 Sun Belt) in 12 matches.
"The team that played here tonight was the team that played at Houston our third weekend of the season," Louisiana head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "That team has been struggling to find its way back, and tonight … it was almost like we could do no wrong. When we needed a big point, we got a big point and it came from all over, and it was awesome."
Winless in 11 previous matches against UTA, Louisiana fell behind 5-1 in the opening set after Briana Sharatt and Taylor Gross combined on a block of freshman Stacey Reilly. The Ragin’ Cajuns recovered and knotted the set at 9-9 on a kill by Abby Filce before taking their first lead of the night on a kill by Mossakowski. 

Back-to-back kills by Nemeth snapped a 13-13 tie and the Ragin’ Cajuns would pull away to claim the opening set behind a .217 average (18-8-46) at the net.
The Ragin’ Cajuns opened the second set on a 7-3 run as Reilly collected three of her six kills in the match. The Mavs got as close at 14-11 after an error by Reilly, but a service error by Taylor Story and three straight attack errors pushed the Louisiana lead to 18-11. The Ragin’ Cajuns, which hit .395 in the second set (17-2-38) kept up their pressure as Keely Hayes stopped a 3-0 UTA run with a kill before Mossakowski and Filce would close out the set with kills.
UTA opened the third set with a 3-1 lead before a kill by Filce and a service ace by Mossakowski tied the contest. Nemeth gave Louisiana the lead for good, 4-3, with a kill and the Ragin’ Cajuns pushed their lead to 7-4 after an ace by Auxilien. The Mavericks closed to within 12-11 after an attack error by Nemeth, but the senior responded on the following serve with a kill and UTA would not get any closer.
Louisiana took an 18-12 lead after Nemeth blocked a Qiana Canete attempt at the net and the Ragin; Cajuns would extend their lead to 22-15 after a kill by Mossakowski.
The Ragin’ Cajuns hit .275 (47-14-120) at the net and held UTA to .130 (37-21-123). Louisiana recorded 10 team blocks against the Mavs while Mossakowski and Auxilien combined for three aces.
"What was great about tonight was that they played very relaxed," Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "UTA got up early in the first and third set, and we just worked our way back and completely flipped it (the score). The unsung heroes tonight were our servers … our serving game was amazing. We may not recorded a lot of aces, but we completely took them (UTA) out of their offense because all of the passes were at the 10-foot line and that’s what we needed to do to get good blocks and keep them out of their offense."
Sharett posted 11 kills to lead UTA with Stacy Koch adding 10. Amanda Welsh and Cassidy Wheeler combined for 33 assists for the Mavs with Caitlyn Cooney leading the team with 17 digs.
Louisiana will return to action on Nov. 21 when it travels to face Arkansas State in a 7 p.m. match before closing out the regular-season on Nov. 23 against ULM at noon.