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Volleyball: All-Around Effort Leads Louisiana to a Win in Road Trip Finale
Ragin’ Cajuns collect split of tough Sun Belt-opening weekend, extend win streak over UT Arlington
ARLINGTON, Texas – A stronger push on offense, combined with the usual tenacious defensive effort, resulted in a three-week road trip for Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball finishing on a winning note.
The Ragin' Cajuns offense produced over 13 kills per set while the defense posted over two blocks per set and surpassed its digs average (finishing at 19 digs per set) – all factors leading the squad to a 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-16) win over UT Arlington at College Park Center.
Louisiana (5-10, 1-1 Sun Belt) earned a split of the opening weekend of Sun Belt Conference play and picked up its fifth consecutive win over UT Arlington (9-5, 1-1 Sun Belt).
The defense set the tone in the opening set by playing a key factor in winning a marathon rally to break a 7-all tie, then providing back-to-back blocks for extra cushion. Louisiana's sideout success in the set (90 percent) kept the Mavericks at bay.
After UTA evened the match the Ragin' Cajuns turned to its offense, which finished the night with 53 kills, to capture the team's first road win of the season.
A dump kill from Avery Breaux followed by a strong slam from Dree'Ana Abram opened a 10-7 lead in the third set. Louisiana hit .280 through 18-11 when UTA used its final timeout. The Ragin' Cajuns then survived a push from the hosts, who trimmed the lead to 22-20, to regain the match advantage.
In the match-clinching fourth set, Louisiana raced out to a 10-3 lead and finished the frame with 16 kills off a .240 hitting percentage to secure the triumph.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Abram delivered another big night in a visit to Arlington scoring a double-double of 16 kills and 10 digs to go with three blocks. She landed double digits in kills for the third straight time at College Park Center, matching her career-high figure reached in the last visit on Oct. 27, 2018.
For the fourth time in the past five outings Hali Wisnoskie produced double-digit kills, finishing with 12 for the second straight night. She added a career-high tying five blocks to her stat line.
Kelsey Bennett provided another all-around effort for the Ragin' Cajuns consisting of eight kills, two aces and 17 digs.
Tia Jade Smith bounced back on offense landing seven kills off 20 swings and spearheaded the front line defense with her season-high total of seven blocks (1 BS, 6 BA).
Senior Darby O'Grady provided a boost off the bench in the third and fourth sets as she scored four kills on eight attack attempts.
Breaux netted a career-high in assists a second straight night running the 5-1 system, tallying 46. With Hannah Ramirez scooping 17 digs and Milayne Danna 16 digs, the Ragin' Cajuns had four reach double figures.
Louisiana returns to Earl K. Long Gym for its first home Sun Belt matches of the season Friday-Saturday, Oct. 4-5 against Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.
The weekend begins with the Mountaineers on Friday in a live ESPN broadcast (tape-delayed Saturday on Cox Sports TV), followed by a visit from the Chanticleers. Both matches begin at 6:30 p.m.
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