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Volleyball: Ragin' Cajuns Establish School Record Conference Start - Daddy-Daughter-Day 2:00 Sunday
Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball's 5-0 Sun Belt start breaks previous record conference start of 4-0 established by 1986 team in Southland Conference
MONROE – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team extended its current win streak and established a new school record for best conference start following a 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-13, 25-20) win over ULM at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
The Ragin' Cajuns win streak moved to seven matches and the squad improved to 12-7, 5-0 Sun Belt. The SBC start bests the previous record conference start of 4-0 established by the 1986 team in the Southland Conference.
After splitting the first two sets with the Warhawks (4-18, 0-5 Sun Belt), Louisiana dialed up the defensive pressure and ran away with the third set, 25-13, to reclaim the lead in the match. The Ragin' Cajuns won the first two points of the fourth set and were able to remain ahead of the Warhawks before putting away the set with a 6-1 run that opened an 18-11 edge.
Louisiana's four-set triumph ended a string of five consecutive five-set affairs with ULM which dated back to Nov. 2014.
The two teams met in the first match of a home-and-home weekend. The Ragin' Cajuns and Warhawks will serve it up again on Sunday at Earl K. Long Gym in a 2 p.m. match. It'll be Daddy-Daughter Day with the first 150 fans receiving a 20 percent off Ragin' Cajuns Store coupon, a photo booth for memorable photos, a special intermission contest and time on the court after the match.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Nia Antoine tallied a match-high 13 kills, reaching double digits in Sun Belt play for the fourth time in five outings. Dree'Ana Abram and Hanna Rovira each posted nine kills on 21 swings. Lexi Hebert came through with a season-high five kills, all from the back row.
Libero Sydney Davis collected a team-best 16 digs and was joined in double figures by Avery Breaux (14), Reilly (14) and Hebert (12).
Antoine and setter Jessica Bartczyszyn each threw up two block solos, leading the Cajuns to six as a team. Bartczyszyn added 37 assists and nine digs to her stat line.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Louisiana climbed out of a 13-10 deficit with six straight points. After a Warhawks service error, a block solo and kill from Reilly evened the score, then Rovira punched a kill and combined with Abram on a block and a ULM attack error finished off the run.
The Warhawks rallied to forge a 17-all tie, but lost the serve on the next rally. The Cajuns capitalized by notching an ace off of Abram's serve and forcing the hosts to hit into back-to-back miscues to stretch the lead to 21-17.
- ULM scored on the first three rallies of the second set, jumped ahead 8-2 and fended off Cajuns advances late to win 25-19 and even the match.
- The Ragin' Cajuns took control of the third set after Antoine killed an overpass for a 6-5 lead, then Abram followed with an ace for a two-point edge. The turning point came at 9-7 when Antoine and Hebert landed kills to start a 6-0 run that opened a 15-7 lead. Along the way the Cajuns received a pair of blocks from Antoine to keep ULM reeling.
Louisiana's third block of the frame came from Abram and it moved the lead into double digits. Kills from Rovira and Wisnoskie later led to set point which reclaimed the match lead.
- Louisiana led from start to finish in the fourth set. Both times the Warhawks pulled within a point, the Cajuns would get a kill to maintain the lead.
It was a block solo from Bartczyszyn at 12-10 which ignited the 6-1 run which helped Louisiana gain plenty of breathing room and sealed the eventual match-clinching triumph.
- Nia Antoine pushed her career kills total to 467, as she continues to progress to the 500 mark of her career.
- The 13 kills pushed Nia Antoine's team-leading total in Sun Belt matches this season to 66. She's averaging 3.3 kills per set in SBC action.
- Freshman Lexi Hebert reached double digit in digs for the fourth straight match (began Sept. 29 vs. Arkansas State). She's piled up 58 over 16 sets during the streak (3.63 per set).
- Setter Jessica Bartczyszyn increased her career assists total to 2,489, leaving her 11 shy of joining Mandi Gavin, Kendra Hall and Andrea Hole as Ragin' Cajuns setters to amass 2,500 in a career during the rally scoring era.
- Hanna Rovira continued her strong showing since taking over the right side hitter's role back on Sept. 23 at Georgia State. Her .429 hitting percentage (9 K, 0 E, 21 TA) against the Warhawks was her best mark of the run. In SBC play, Rovira has produced 29 kills against only five errors on 92 attempts.
- As a team, Louisiana dug at an average of 18.5 digs per set which eclipsed the squad's Sun Belt-leading season average of 17.04 per set. The Ragin' Cajuns digs average was above 17 per set for the fourth time in five SBC matches.
- Head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot picked up her 131st win as Ragin' Cajuns head coach. She's now five (5) wins shy of tying Wilo Colon's program-record 136 victories.
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).
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball is hosting "Daddy-Daughter Day" at Earl K. Long Gym on Sunday, Oct. 8 vs. ULM.
First serve for the match is set for 2 p.m.
There will be a photo area in the lobby of E.K. Long Gym for dads and daughters to take memorable photos. At the intermission between the second and third set, selected participants will participate in a special daddy-daughter contest.
The playing court will be open after the conclusion of the Ragin' Cajuns-Warhawks matching for dads and daughters to have fun.
The first 150 fans to arrive will receive a 20 percent off coupon from the Ragin' Cajuns Store.
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