Volleyball: Coastal Slips by Louisiana in Hard-Fought Five Setter
LAFAYETTE – Coastal Carolina claimed a back-and-forth five-set affair from the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team in a Sun Belt Conference match Saturday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.
After trading victories through the first four sets, the Chanticleers used a 12-8 advantage in kills to rally and win the fifth frame and grab the 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 25-16, 22-25, 15-12) victory.
Coastal Carolina (12-7, 9-1 Sun Belt) won an offensive battle in the first set, using a 17-15 edge in kills to claim a three-point win. The two teams alternated sharp climbs in hitting percentage over the next two sets, then Louisiana (15-9, 8-2 Sun Belt) rode the tough serve of Sydney Davis to climb out of a 21-19 deficit in the fourth set and force the winner-take-all scenario.
The two squads battled through 36 ties and 21 lead changes throughout the evening.
The Ragin' Cajuns had their eight-match home winning streak snapped. The squad, which swept Appalachian State on Friday, moved to 1-1 on the current four-match homestand which concludes next week against UTA (Oct. 26) and Texas State (Oct. 28).
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS Outside hitters Stacey Reilly and Hali Wisnoskie drove the Louisiana offense with 17 and 14 kills, respectively. Both hit above .200 in the match (Reilly, .269; Wisnsoskie, .220).
Middle blocker Dree'Ana Abram supplied nine kills on 19 swings (.368 hitting pct.) and threw up three blocks.
Reilly was the leader in digs with 16, giving her a 10th double-double for the season, while Nia Antoine was tops in blocks with six (2 BS, 4 BA).
Davis' serve was tough the entire night and she was rewarded with a season-high and career-high tying four service aces. She joined Reilly in double digits with 15 digs.
Setter Jessica Bartczyszyn had another all-around performance as she provided three kills, 39 assists, 14 digs and three blocks.
HOW IT HAPPENED - The Chanticleers put the finishing touches on a .302 hitting percentage in the first-set win by tallying five kills down the stretch. The first three were strung together after an Abram block cut the Cajuns deficit to 20-17 and created enough separation for the visitors to capture the win.
- Louisiana limited Coastal Carolina to its match-low hitting percentage of .059 during the second set on the way to claiming a win which evened the match. The Ragin' Cajuns asserted control when an Antoine kill, Davis ace and a pair of blocks amounted to a 4-0 run which snapped a 6-all tie. From there the Chants got no closer than three points.
- Coastal flipped the script in the third set, holding Louisiana to its match-low hitting percentage (.125) while heating up to .379. Just like the Ragin' Cajuns in the previous frame, it was a 4-0 run spurned by four kills that broke a 6-all tie. Louisiana pulled within two, 10-8, but lost the serve and back-to-back hitting miscues stretched the Chanticleers lead out to 13-8.
- The lead swapped hands six times in the fourth set and it was a 5-0 Coastal Carolina run which opened an 18-14 lead for the visitors had them on the verge of avoiding the fifth frame. However, Louisiana fought back by winning the next three rallies.
The Chants had a three-point spurt of their own to extend the lead to 21-17. The Ragin' Cajuns won the serve back with a Wisnoskie kill and Davis served up six straight points, three off aces, to turn the tide.
- Louisiana was the first to gain separation in the opening stages of the fifth set after a Hanna Rovira kill and block thrown up by Antoine and Bartczyszyn opened a 7-5 lead. Coastal called timeout to halt the momentum, then followed with five unanswered to change the course of the outcome. The Ragin' Cajuns moved back within a point, 13-12, after an Abram kill only to have a kill from Kinga Windisch keep the Chanticleers in the lead.
QUICK HITS - Coastal Carolina visited Earl K. Long Gym for the first time in program history. It was only the third meeting all-time, overall, between the Ragin' Cajuns and Chanticleers who first met as Sun Belt foes in Conway, S.C, a year ago.
- Stacey Reilly upped her career kills total to 986 with Saturday's output. Reilly heads into the final weekend at Earl K. Long Gym of her career sitting only 14 kills away from joining Chanelle Gardner as the only Ragin' Cajuns to reach 1,000 kills playing an entire career in the rally scoring era.
- Nia Antoine's first kill of the third set was the 500th of her career. She's stockpiled 501 career kills through 243 sets wearing the Ragin' Cajuns uniform.
- Nia Antoine's six blocks (2 BS, 4 BA) marked her highest production since posting seven vs. Nicholls on Sept. 1. Antoine threw up at least five blocks in a match for the fifth time this season.
- Hanna Rovira moved over 100 kills for the season (current total is 103), marking the first time reaching them mark in her collegiate career.
- Sydney Davis' collected four service aces for the third time in her career (2016 vs. North Texas, 2015 vs. Georgia State).
- Stacey Reilly's 17 kills represented her 55th career match (out of 111) with double digits in kills. The double-double of 17 kills/16 digs was the 36th double-double of her career.
- The three blocks posted by Jessica Bartczyszyn increased her season total to 42 which represents a new-high total for her career (besting 40 in 2016) and marks the second straight season she's gone above 40.
- Louisiana's .210 team hitting percentage marked the eighth time in 10 Sun Belt Conference matches the team hit above .200.
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).