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Volleyball: Strong Finish Vaults Ragin' Cajuns Past South Alabama
LAFAYETTE – With a balanced attack on offense and an exceptional hitting percentage post-intermission the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team defeated South Alabama 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 25-16) on Saturday at Earl K. Long Gym.
Louisiana (10-10, 2-4 Sun Belt) saw the quartet of Dree'Ana Abram, Hali Wisnoskie, Hanna Rovira and Desiree Johnson each post at least nine kills.
The Ragin' Cajuns used a .421 hitting percentage (28 K, 4 E, 57 TA) in the final two stanzas to remain one step ahead of the Jaguars (8-11, 2-4 Sun Belt) on the way to halting a four-match losing streak.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Ragin' Cajuns hit above .200 for the majority of the opening set while the Jaguars wouldn't climb above .100 until the end. The turning point was a pair of USA attack errors which increased Louisiana's lead to 18-12, then the hosts finished strong scoring the final five points with kills.
The Jaguars took advantage of a .087 hitting percentage by the Ragin' Cajuns to claim the second set.
In a hard-fought third set, which featured 14 ties and seven lead changes, it was a 17-16 edge in kills and a .455 hitting percentage which lifted Louisiana. The Ragin' Cajuns broke free from an 18-all tie with a set-ending 7-3 run, putting the frame away after a Wisnoskie kill and Milayne Danna ace stretched the advantage to 23-19.
Three straight USA miscues after an 8-all tie in the fourth set opened the door. Louisiana would seal the triumph after back-to-back Rovira kills sparked a five-point run which extended the lead to 21-12.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Wisnoskie and Abram both scored a match-high 12 kills to lead Louisiana. Nine of Wisnoskie's tallies came in the decisive final two frames.
Rovira furnished 11 kills and Johnson posted nine kills. Kelsey Bennett contributed four of her six kills at timely moments in the third set.
Louisiana threw up nine block solos with two apiece from Abram, Nia Antoine, Bennett and Rovira.
Libero Sydney Davis scooped a team-best 11 digs. She was joined in double figures by Rovira (10) and setter Avery Breaux (10) who each landed double-doubles.
- Louisiana's .275 hitting percentage marked the highest figure since hitting .276 at San Diego State (Sept. 15) and was the 13th time this season finishing above the mark.
- With the win, the Ragin' Cajuns hit double digits in a season for the seventh time in the past nine seasons (since 2010).
- Head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot, the program's all-time winningest coach, recorded the 150th victory of her tenure at Louisiana.
- Hali Wisnoskie reached double digits in kills for the third straight match and 15th time overall in 20 outings this season. She now owns 33 career matches of double-digit kills.
- During the streak of three straight matches with double digit kills, Hali Wisnoskie has scored 46 kills (3.54/set) on a .295 hitting percentage.
- Sydney Davis recorded her 94th career match of double-digit digs. She increased her career digs total to 1,821 which moves her within 43 digs of surpassing Lindsay Brown's rally scoring era record total (1,863).
- Avery Breaux posted her fifth double-double in the past seven outings (since San Diego State match). During the streak, Breaux is averaging 5.17 assists and 2.23 digs per set.
- Freshman Desiree Johnson reached (or surpassed) the five-kill mark for the 17th consecutive match (streak dates back to Aug. 31 vs. Mississippi Valley).
- With 11 kills, Hanna Rovira has now produced at least eight kills in all six Sun Belt matches.
Louisiana travels to Arkansas Oct. 12-13 for a pair of Sun Belt Conference road matches. The Ragin' Cajuns will be in Jonesboro on Friday to face Arkansas State and in Little Rock on Saturday. Both matches are slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.
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