Volleyball: Louisiana Takes Two to Close Sawyer Camillo Classic
LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team closed out the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic with a pair of Saturday triumphs at Earl K. Long Gym.
Louisiana (4-3) hit .460 in storming past Mississippi Valley (0-3) in straight sets (25-14, 25-8, 25-11) to start the day. In the tournament finale, the Ragin' Cajuns pounded out 64 kills and rallied after a first-set loss to top Jacksonville State (4-3) in four sets (22-25, 25-13, 26-24, 25-23).
With the Saturday sweep the Ragin' Cajuns concluded the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic with a 3-1 record, claiming the runner-up spot. Stacey Reilly (Sr., OH, Houston, Texas) and Chloe Cordell (Sr., OH, Enid, Okla.) represented Louisiana on the all-tournament team.
Improving to 4-3 on the young season, coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot's squad is off to the program's best start since the 2014 team began 10-0.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS Reilly was the catalyst for the Ragin' Cajuns against MVSU, tallying 14 kills without an error on 22 swings for a .636 hitting percentage. It marked a career-high percentage for the senior outside hitter.
Hali Wisnoskie (Fr., OH, Columbus, Texas) was the other Cajun to reach double digit kills against MVSU with 12 and added 11 for her first collegiate double-double.
Nia Antoine (Jr., MB, Lafayette, La.) posted 16 kills, hit .500, scooped eight digs and threw up four blocks (3 BS, 1 BA) in pacing the win over Jacksonville State. Antoine was one of four Cajuns in double figures, joined by Cordell (15), Reilly (14) and Wisnoskie (11).
Setter Jessica Bartczyszyn (Sr., S, Cary, Ill.) handed out a season-high 57 assists and directed Louisiana to a .272 team hitting percentage against Jacksonville State. Bartczyszyn's effort against the Gamecocks pushed her over 2,000 career assists (currently has 2,056).
Sydney Davis collected a match-high 19 digs, leading a quartet of Cajuns with 10-plus as the squad finished with 72 against JSU.
UP NEXT The Ragin' Cajuns travel to Houston for the Rice Invitational set for Sept. 8-9 at Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice University campus. Louisiana is scheduled to face Rice on Friday at 10 a.m. and close out the event on Saturday with matches against California at 11 a.m. and Mississippi State at 7:30 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED MISSISSIPPI VALLEY: The Ragin' Cajuns were able to pull away from the Devilettes, who notched 10 kills in the first set, with a 6-0 run midway through first frame that opened a 20-11 advantage. Louisiana dominated the remainder of the match with a 31-5 advantage in kills combined over the final two sets. The Ragin' Cajuns scored the first 15 points of the second set and jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the third set in never looking back.
JACKSONVILLE STATE: The Gamecocks turned the tables on the Ragin' Cajuns momentarily when thanks in large part to the serve of Charis Ludtke they ended the first set with an 11-1 run to claim a 25-22 win. With a .370 attack in the second set Louisiana raced past JSU for a 25-13 win that evened the match. The third and fourth sets saw a combined 19 ties and nine lead changes, but the Ragin' Cajuns were able to hold on. After the Gamecocks knotted the score at 24-all in the third set, consecutive kills off the hands of Chynna Brooks and Cordell gave the Cajuns set point and a 2-1 lead. The two teams traded several scoring runs in the fourth frame, the last big one being three straight from Louisiana off of Cordell and Reilly kills plus an ace from Avery Breaux that opened a 21-19 lead. JSU did pull within a point, 24-23, but Wisnoskie slammed down a kill to serve the victory.
QUICK HITS - Stacey Reilly collected double digit kills all four matches of the tournament, finishing the weekend with 51 kills on a .237 hitting percentage. Reilly raised her season kills per set average to 3.00.
- With 20 digs on the day, Stacey Reilly increased her career total to 970. That leaves her 30 shy of becoming the first Cajuns outside hitter who played an entire career in the rally scoring era to reach 1,000 digs.
- Jessica Bartczysyn's 57 assists against Jacksonville State were two shy of her career-high 59 assists set against Little Rock last season (Sept. 30, 2016 in Little Rock).
- Jessica Bartczyszyn joins Andrea Hole, Mandi Gavin and Kendra Hall as setters in program history who have reached 2,000 career assists in the rally scoring era.
- Nia Antoine was two kills shy of her career-best total of 18 set last season at Appalachian State (Oct. 23, 2016).
- Freshman Hali Wisnoskie led all Ragin' Cajuns in kills during the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic. The Columbus, Texas product closed the weekend with 53 kills and averaged 3.53 per set on a .220 hitting percentage.
- As a team, Louisiana hit .252 and averaged 14.47 kills per set in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic. The team's defense produced 18.93 digs per set and 3.07 blocks per set in the event.
- Entering Saturday's play the Ragin' Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference in digs per set (17.44) and blocks per set (2.72) and are on pace to exit the weekend as the league's leader in both categories.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS 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).