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Ms. Tara Cote




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Volleyball Concludes Season This Weekend

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team will conclude its 2007 regular season when it welcomes Arkansas State and UALR to Earl K. Long Gym for a final homestand this weekend. Friday’s match with A-State is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Saturday’s meeting with UALR is set for 5 p.m. UL fans can follow the action online with Live Stats on RaginCajuns.com.

Prior to Saturday’s match with UALR, Louisiana will honor its two seniors – Erika Castro (San Antonio, Texas) and Tara Cote (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) – during its Senior Day ceremony.

Louisiana (4-27, 3-13 Sun Belt) has lost seven of its last eight matches. The Cajuns completed a season sweep of in-state foe Louisiana-Monroe 3-2 (30-17, 30-25, 28-30, 17-30, 15-12) on Sunday, Oct. 28. It marked the Cajuns’ first five-game win of the 2007 campaign and only the second under current head coach Amy Kraljev.

Last weekend, the Cajuns were denied for the second time this season in five games by North Texas as the Mean Green handed UL a tough 3-2 (30-28, 21-30, 34-32, 23-30, 11-15) defeat on Friday, Nov. 2. UL followed with a 3-0 (14-30, 23-30, 30-32) loss at Denver on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Inman (Fort Worth, Texas) leads Louisiana with 328 kills through 28 matches, while freshman Amie Goodwin (Tucson, Ariz.) leads the squad with 3.26 kills per game. However, the story has been the recent play of freshman middle blocker Caroline Dufrene (Lake Charles, La.).

In the Cajuns’ last 10 matches, Dufrene leads the team with 109 kills (2.87 kills/gm) and 3.41 points per game. Fellow middle blocker Tracie Knowlton (Forest Grove, Ore.) led the team with 48 blocks (1.26 blocks/gm) during that stretch.

Arkansas State (9-18, 5-10 Sun Belt) has lost four straight matches and is in the middle of a four-match road swing to close out the season. Thursday, A-State will face the ULM Warhawks before traveling to Lafayette to face the Ragin’ Cajuns. Earlier this season, the Indians handed UL a 3-0 loss in Jonesboro, Ark., on Sept. 28. A-State holds 30-10 lead in the all-time series with Louisiana.

UALR (19-8, 11-4 Sun Belt), which is in second place in the Sun Belt West Division behind Denver, ended its home season with a 10-0 mark after sweeping Arkansas State 3-0 last Friday. Like the Indians, UALR also defeated the Cajuns 3-0 in Little Rock on Sept. 29. UALR is 24-2 all-time against the Cajuns. In last season’s finale, UL posted a program milestone 3-2 victory over the Trojans in Little Rock. The win marked not only the first five-game win for Kraljev, but it was also the program’s first-ever win on UALR’s home court.

2007 Louisiana Volleyball Senior Class Capsules

#1 Erika Castro, Libero (San Antonio, Texas)
Castro is the only four-year senior on this season’s squad, playing in 111 matches entering the weekend.
She currently ranks second all-time in school history with 1,562 digs and only the second player to ever tally at least 1,500 digs (Nia Kiggundu – 2,043).
Her 2006 total of 491 digs is the school single-season record during the Rally Scoring Era.
She has tallied at least 300 digs in all four seasons at Louisiana.
She was named to the Dean’s List for both the Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 semesters and will graduate with a degree in kinesiology (exercise science).

#9 Tara Cote, Setter/Outside Hitter (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Cote, who transferred to UL following her freshman season at North Carolina A&T, as played a major leadership role on the team that past three seasons.
She is a two-time Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List selection and is the only two-time honoree on the team, earning the league’s top honor for 2005-06 and 2006-07.
After spending her first two seasons as the Cajuns setter, she moved to defensive specialist for her senior season.
Since arriving at UL, she has been named to the Dean’s List all four semesters and has made a 4.0 GPA for the last three semesters. She will graduate with a degree in chemical engineering.

Posted on ragincajuns.com on November 7, 2007

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