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Volleyball: Ragin' Cajuns Score a Sweep on Opening Day
Behind an efficient attack, Louisiana tops Incarnate Word in opening match at Tulane I-10 Challenge
NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball opened the Tulane I-10 Challenge, and its 2018 season, with a straight sets sweep (25-20, 25-19, 25-21) of Incarnate Word on Friday at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Louisiana (1-0) used a balanced and efficient attack to land the season-opening triumph. A quartet of players with at least seven kills charged the offensive production and the squad's .323 match hitting percentage was key to a second set comeback and outlasting the Cardinals (0-2) in the third set.
The Ragin' Cajuns took charge in the opening set paced by a .375 hitting percentage and a combined nine kills from Kelsey Bennett and Hali Wisnoskie. Precision hitting in the second set, particularly in the second half of the set, sparked a set-ending 15-5 run that lifted Louisiana out of deficit and into a commanding 2-0 match lead.
The teams played through 13 ties and eight lead changes in the final stanza. Sydney Davis served Louisiana out of the final stalemate, with an ace igniting a string of four straight rallies won that broke the Ragin' Cajuns free from a 15-all tie.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Wisnoskie produced a match-high 12 kills and was supported by the sharp-hitting of Nia Antoine (10 kills on 13 swings) and Dree'Ana Abram (eight kills on 11 swings).
Bennett scored seven kills on 16 attempts in her collegiate debut and served up a match-best three aces.
Milayne Danna (20 assists) and Avery Breaux (18 assists) shared the setting duties, combining for 38 of the team's 43 assists.
Davis was Louisiana's leader in digs with 12 as the squad held a 47-36 advantage over UIW. She posted double figures for the 18th consceutive match dating back to the 2017 season.
Louisiana wraps up play in the Tulane I-10 Challenge on Saturday facing UTEP at 10 a.m. and the host-Green Wave at 7 p.m. Fans can access links for live stats and live video (purchase required) at RaginCajuns.com/VBschedule.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Louisiana landed a kill 11 times through its first 16 attacks of the match, positioning the team for the first-set win.
- UIW used an 11-2 run early in the second set to forge ahead 12-6. Louisiana turned the tables with an 8-2 run to draw even at 14-all. The final momentum shift was a series of three kills, one from Hanna Rovira and the latter two from Desiree Johnson, which put the Ragin' Cajuns ahead 20-16 and the Cardinals would get no closer the rest of the way.
- Teams swapped sideouts numerous times through 15-all in the third set. Davis began the pivotal four-point run with an ace. After the Cardinals made their final push, trimming the deficit to 20-18, it was Bennett with another key ace that returned the advantage to four points and a kill from Abram extended the Louisiana lead to 23-18.
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