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Volleyball: Powerful Offense Puts Finishing Touches on Louisiana’s Sweep in Little Rock, Now 9-0
Ragin’ Cajuns hit the 50-kill mark in straight sets sweep and remain undefeated
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Behind an offense that averaged 18 kills per set the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team claimed a 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 27-25) win over Little Rock on Saturday at the Jack Stephens Center, completing a three-match sweep of the Trojans on Sun Belt-opening weekend.
The Ragin' Cajuns (9-0, 3-0 Sun Belt) continued their undefeated start to the 2020 season with a ninth consecutive win and moved within one win of matching the 2014 team for the best start in program history.
Louisiana was on target from the start, hitting above .400 in each of the first two sets and piling up 35 kills on just 68 swings in opening a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The first set was decided when a kill from freshman Cami Hicks placed the ball in the hands of Avery Breaux who served up five straight points for a 20-8 lead. The finishing touches came off the hands of Kelsey Bennett who fired off three straight kills to bring the Ragin' Cajuns to set point at 24-12.
The Trojans (0-4, 0-3 Sun Belt) pushed the Ragin' Cajuns in the second set by scoring 18 kills on a .375 hitting percentage. With 19 kills of its own, Louisiana was able to fend off the hosts including a timely kill from Taylor Gates that provided a 24-23 lead prior to the set entering extra points.
Four blocks early on in the third set placed Little Rock in the lead and had the Ragin' Cajuns in catch-up mode until back-to-back kills from Hali Wisnoskie and Bennett put the squad ahead 22-21. Facing set point, a pair of Trojans miscues pulled Louisiana ahead 25-24, then after a tie Kara Barnes scored a kill to set up Wisnoskie for the match-clinching tally.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Wisnoskie collected a match-high 18 kills, with 11 of those coming on her first 19 swings. Bennett joined her in double digits with 15 kills and also rounded up 15 digs for a third consecutive double-double.
Saturday's performance punctuated a dominant weekend for Wisnoskie who produced 57 kills (5.18 kills/set) and Bennett who generated 48 kills (4.36 kills/set) over the three-match series with the Trojans.
Gates followed up a 10-kill effort in Friday's second match with nine more kills on Saturday. Barnes was nearly automatic, landing eight kills off 13 swings on a .538 hitting percentage.
Hannah Ramirez scooped seven digs in each set on the way to gathering a match-high 21 digs. She reached the 20-dig mark for the second time in three matches in Little Rock, and for the third time this season. Ramirez also handed out a season-high six assists.
Breaux tallied 42 assists to reach the 40-mark over three sets for the second consecutive match. It was her Sun Belt-leading third time recording 40-plus assists in a three-set contest. Now at 1,950 career assists the Scott, La., product is closing in on becoming just the fifth Ragin' Cajun in the rally scoring era to reach 2,000 career assists.
Led the Breaux's efforts, the Ragin' Cajuns posted 15.91 kills per set on a .287 hitting percentage in the three-match series in Little Rock. The senior setter averaged 13.27 assists per set, a new career-best weekend total.
Louisiana returns to the road and travels to Monroe, La., for a two-match series with ULM set for Friday-Saturday, Oct. 2-3 at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The Ragin' Cajuns and Warhawks are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
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