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Volleyball: Solid Hitting and Dominant Defense Produce Win at Troy
TROY, Ala. – An efficient offensive attack and stout front-line defense propelled the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-16, 13-25, 25-18, 25-22) win over Troy on Saturday at Trojan Arena.
The Ragin' Cajuns (19-9, 12-2 Sun Belt) hit .200 for the match to offset the Trojans (9-20, 3-11 Sun Belt) who had 61 kills, but hit only .163, and out-blocked the hosts 17-3.
After Troy took advantage of a 19-5 kills margin in the second set to pull even, Louisiana hit above .250, reached double digits in kills and had at least five blocks in each of the last two frames in locking up the victory.
Louisiana claimed its 12th Sun Belt Conference victory of the season, establishing a new school record for conference wins. The current Cajuns surpassed the previous benchmark of 11 set by the 2000 team.
The Ragin' Cajuns' 17 blocks tied both the team's season-high total (Sept. 1 vs. Nicholls) and the Sun Belt-high for conference play (South Alabama at Texas State). Dree'Ana Abram threw up 10 blocks (7 BS, 3 BA) which etched her name in the school record book for most block solos in the rally scoring era (2001-prenent).
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
In addition to leading the match with her career-high 10 blocks, which pushed her over 100 for the season, Abram topped the Ragin' Cajuns with 11 kills on just 20 swings (hit. 450).
Stacey Reilly and Hanna Rovira each supplied six kills while Nia Antoine and Hali Wisnoskie each added five kills.
Antoine joined Abram in terrorizing the Trojans at the net as she had six blocks of her own (2 BS, 4 BA). Reilly and Rovira each threw up three blocks.
Jessica Bartczyszyn handed out 28 assists with the first two putting her into 1,000 for the second straight season. She added a pair of kills, six digs and a block to her stat line.
Sydney Davis scooped 20-plus digs for the third straight match and reached double digits for the 13th straight with her match-high 21 digs. Avery Breaux (13) and Reilly (10) joined her in double digits.
The Ragin' Cajuns close out the regular season the weekend on Nov. 10-12 in Texas for Sun Belt rematches with Texas State and UTA. Louisiana will be in San Marcos on Friday for a 5:30 p.m. match with the Bobcats, then travels to Arlington on Sunday to face the Mavericks in a 1 p.m. matinee.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After trailing from the start in the first set the Ragin' Cajuns railed to forge a 9-all tie and later went ahead to stay after an attack error by Troy's Jenni Young provided a 13-12 lead. Kills from Wisnoskie and Antoine created breathing room, Young committed another miscue and kills from Reilly and Wisnoskie increased the lead to 18-12 and put the Cajuns on solid ground.
- The Trojans had 19 kills and recorded their match-best percentage (.333) while the Cajuns could only muster five kills and hit their match-worst (.000) in the second set. Louisiana jumped in front 5-1, but Troy stole the momentum with an 8-1 spurt and led 9-6. A service error brought the Cajuns within four, 13-9, but the Trojans started to pull away when back-to-back Logan Page kills ingnited another 8-1 run.
- Abram took over near the midway point of the third set to keep the Ragin' Cajuns one step ahead on the way to reclaiming the match lead. She scored three kills and a block to personally account for 4-1 run that dug Louisiana out of an 11-10 deficit.
The Ragin' Cajuns first push to putting the Trojans away came when a Bartczyszyn kill and Reilly ace opened a 17-14 lead. The teams swapped sideouts until the final push of a Rovira kill, Hannah Henry ace and a Trojans attack error made it 23-17.
- The fourth set began with back-and-forth play until Louisiana made the first move. Trailing 5-4, the defense forced Troy into an attack error to knot the score. Then Abram came alive again with a block-kill-block sequence to pull the Ragin' Cajuns in front 8-5.
After another Abram block at 10-9 prevented Troy from tying the score, Louisiana maintained at least a two-point edge the rest of the way. After a kill by Belle Waldrop cut Troy's deficit to 16-14, Abram landed a kill for the first of two straight points that created one of five four-point leads the Cajuns held down the stretch.
- Freshman Hali Wisnoskie celebrated her 19th birthday on Saturday in Troy. The Columbus, Texas product had five kills alone in helping lead Louisiana to a first-set triumph.
- Louisiana improved to 12-10 all-time vs. Troy and the won the matchup with the Trojans for the second straight season.
- The Ragin' Cajuns moved within one win of reaching 20 wins for the second time in the past four seasons. Back in 2014, led by the now-seniors who were freshmen, Louisiana finished 20-13 for the first 20-win season since 1990.
- Louisiana is now 7-3 on the oppositions home court (6-1 in SBC play). It's the most true road wins for the program in the rally scoring era (2001-present).
- Dree'Ana Abram's seven block solos bested the previous rally era-best of six recorded by Mandi Gavin back on Oct. 16, 2009 at Arkansas State.
- Dree'Ana Abram's 10 total blocks mark the first time a Ragin' Cajun hits double digits since Bethany Fogler had the same amount vs. North Texas on Oct. 3, 2009.
- The 10 blocks for Dree'Ana Abram increased her season total to 106. The last Ragin' Cajun to amass 100-plus blocks in a season was Chanelle Gardner who had exactly 106 in 2014.
- With 21 digs, Sydney Davis increased her season total to 526 which is a new personal single-season high total. Davis, who's hit 500 each of the past two seasons, bested the 508 she tallied as a sophomore in 2016.
- Stacey Reilly collected 11 kills on the South Alabama-Troy trip to up her season total to 293 kills. She also scooped 25 digs to bring her season total in the category to 288. She's now on the verge of a second straight 300-300 seaosn (had 387 kills, 347 digs in 2016).
- The Ragin' Cajuns are now 13-5 this season when a match is extended past the third set (10-3 in four-sets matches; 3-2 in five-set matches)
- The 17-3 advantage in blocks marked the 14th straight match in which Louisiana had at least an equal or higher amount than the opposing team.
- As a team, the Ragin' Cajuns have reached double figures in blocks in 13 matches this season (eight times through 14 Sun Belt matches).
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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