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Volleyball: Percentage Points Provide Georgia Southern the Edge over Louisiana Volleyball

Eagles’ efficiency counters the Ragin’ Cajuns efforts while teams traded blows on offense

LAFAYETTE – In a match where both teams turned in very efficient offensive efforts it was Georgia Southern that finished with a slight edge in a 3-2 (18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 15-11) win over Louisiana Volleyball on Saturday night at Earl K. Long Gym.
The Eagles’ .295 attack percentage was enough to overcome the Ragin’ Cajuns who finished with a 70-62 edge in kills but accrued a slightly lower attack percentage (.263).
Louisiana (6-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) stormed out to a 1-0 lead in the contest by peppering Georgia Southern (9-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) with 19 kills on a .515 percentage in the opening set. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 11 kills of their first 16 swings as they rolled out to a 14-6 lead and never looked back.
It was the Eagles’ turn with the hot hand in the second set, finishing with a 17 kills on a .351 percentage to even the match. With six kills over its first nine swings Georgia Southern jumped out to an 8-4 lead and never trailed despite Louisiana battling back within a point, 21-20, when a 5-0 run was capped off by a Kelsey Bennett kill of an overpass.
Being able to separate themselves from a 13-all tie in the third set with a quick three-point spurt allowed the Eagles to lay claim to the match lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns forced the winner-take-all scenario by coming up with the timely side out down the stretch of the fourth set. It was Bennett at 19-17 and Kara Barnes at 21-19 who delivered powerful kills that provided ample separation.
Barnes scored a kill to give Louisiana a 4-3 advantage in the fifth set, however Georgia Southern collected the next five points to forge ahead for good.
The loss spoiled the Ragin’ Cajuns chance at a 3-0 mark on the season’s first homestand. Louisiana entered Saturday’s match having claimed a sweep of Lamar in the home opener on Tuesday and a four-set triumph over Georgia State in the Sun Belt opener on Friday.
Bennett turned in her fourth 20-plus kills performance of the season, netting a match-high 24 kills on a .412 hitting percentage. She added a team-high 19 digs to her stat line, resulting in her seventh double-double of the season.
Coco Gillett followed with 15 kills and Barnes landed 12 kills. Those two, along with Bennett, combined for 14 kills in the opening set victory.
Siena DeCambra (34 assists) and Reka Kotorman (21 assists) combined for 55 assists running the 6-2 attack. The duo joined Bennett in leading the Ragin’ Cajuns with two service aces.
Jordan Valley rounded up 15 digs wearing the libero jersey while Gillett scooped 12 digs and Kotorman gathered 10 digs giving them each a double-double.
Barnes, Cami Hicks and Chinelo Ogogor each had a hand in multiple blocks, all three being involved in a pair of blocks.
Louisiana starts the month of October traveling to the state of Texas for a pair of road matches against Sun Belt West Division foes UT Arlington and Texas State from Friday-Saturday, Oct. 1-2.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will be in Arlington on Friday (Oct. 1) and then San Marcos on Saturday (Oct. 2). First serve both days is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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