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Volleyball: Cajuns Strong Again, But Bulldogs Prevail in Five
Mississippi State def. Louisiana, 3-2 (18-25, 20-25, 25-19, 26-24, 15-9)
HOUSTON – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team had a second strong showing on Saturday at the Rice Adidas Invitational spoiled after Mississippi State rallied to win in five.
The Ragin' Cajuns (4-6) out-hit the SEC's Bulldogs (7-5) .246-.166 in the match. The squad threw up 10 blocks and out-dug MSU 60-54.
Louisiana hit a sizzling .354 in opening a 2-0 lead in the match. MSU held the edge offensively over the final three sets, with a 34-27 advantage in kills, and picked up eight timely service aces in staging the comeback.
The Ragin' Cajuns had their second near-miss of the day. In a late-morning battle with Cal, the Cajuns claimed the opening set but were handed a pair of two-point losses and the Bears went on to win in four.
Freshman Hali Wisnoskie, who landed 32 kills on a .338 hitting percentage during the weekend, represented Louisiana on the all-tournament team.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Wisnoskie paced the Ragin' Cajuns offensive efforts with 16 kills on a season-best .519 hitting percentage. She accumulated at least three kills in each set.
Senior Stacey Reilly picked up her seventh double-digit kills performance of the season, finishing with 10 to go along with 12 digs. Reilly's digs total increased her career tally to 996 which has her four shy of becoming the first outside hitter in the rally scoring era to reach 1,000 career digs.
For the second straight match Jessica Bartczyszyn and Avery Breaux split the duties at setter. Bartczyszyn handed out 23 assists while Breaux passed out 16.
Freshman Lexi Hebert topped the back row in digs with a season-high 16. Libero Sydney Davis reached double digits for the seventh straight match by hauling in 15 digs.
Louisiana matched its block total from the Cal match with 10 led by five from Nia Antoine and four apiece from Dree'Ana Abram and Hanna Rovira.
Louisiana travels to the Chicago State Invitational Friday-Saturday, Sept. 15-16, which represents a homecoming trip for senior setter Jessica Bartczyszyn who hails from nearby Cary, Ill.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Louisiana was more efficient in its swings in the first set, landing 11 kills on 24 attempts. Trailing 14-11, an Antoine kill, Reilly ace and Chloe Cordell block were key parts of a 4-0 run that put the Ragin' Cajuns ahead.
The teams traded sideouts with the Bulldogs forging later forging a 17-all tie. Beginning with kills from Wisnoskie and Hebert, the Cajuns began an 8-1 set-ending run and grabbed a 1-0 match lead.
- The Ragin' Cajuns used a .417 hitting percentage in the second set to overcome two MSU scoring sprees. A 6-0 run erased a 16-14 deficit, then after MSU pulled within two at 20-18 it was kills by Abram and Rovira that stretched the lead out to four points.
- Mississippi State jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set and led throughout. The Bulldogs were able to force the winner-take-all frame when a kill by Jelena Vujcin prevented the Cajuns from claiming match point in the fourth set, then consecutive miscues on set attempts gave the Bulldogs a 26-24 win.
- Trailing 8-3 in the fifth set, the Ragin' Cajuns worked their way back into the set by getting five kills over the next seven rallies – three from Wisnoskie – to cut the MSU lead to 10-8.
An attack error and Bulldogs kill made it 12-8 and prompted a Cajuns timeout. MSU served up two aces in the closing moments to end the set.
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).
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