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Volleyball: Comeback Trail Was Key to Louisiana Volleyball Starting the Weekend Strong - 2nd M at 6
Series with Arkansas State at Earl K. Long Gym continues Friday at 6 p.m.
LAFAYETTE – A comeback at the beginning of the match and one at the end provided Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 25-17) victory over Arkansas State on Friday in the opening contest of a three-match Sun Belt Conference series at Earl K. Long Gym.
With the win the Ragin' Cajuns (12-3, 6-3 Sun Belt) halted a three-match losing streak and broke a tie with the Red Wolves (5-4, 5-4 Sun Belt) in the SBC West Division.
Despite falling behind 6-2 in the first set, Louisiana stayed the course until taking its first lead of the critical triumph at 22-21. ASU forged ties over the next three rallies, but each time the Ragin' Cajuns received timely kills from Kara Barnes and Hali Wisnoskie. It was Wisnoskie who broke the final tie and then put down an overpass for set point.
With neither team relinquishing the lead in the second or third set, the conclusion of the match came down to the Ragin' Cajuns' second big rally of the morning.
The Red Wolves rolled out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set in an attempt to extend the contest even further. Louisiana gradually chipped away until ultimately taking the lead for good on a Taylor Gates kill which snapped a 12-all tie.
From that point on it was a match-ending 12-5 scoring spree for Louisiana, with the final five points coming off kills. The Ragin' Cajuns scored 15 kills on a .250 hitting percentage in denying the Red Wolves an opportunity at a winner-take-all frame.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Four Ragin' Cajuns posted double-digit kills led by Barnes who tied her career-high total with a match-leading 16 kills. The sophomore middle blocker needed only 33 swings at hit .390.
Wisnoskie generated 13 kills while Kelsey Bennett and Gates each supplied 12 kills.
For Wisnoskie it marked her 11th outing of double figures this season and 67th occurrence overall in her career. Gates returned to double figures in kills for the first time since Oct. 2 at ULM and Bennett reached the double-digit mark for the seventh time in Sun Belt play.
At the net is was Wisnoskie and Cami Hicks leading the way with four blocks apiece. Libero Hannah Ramirez collected her 27th consecutive match of double-digit digs by rounding up a team-leading 16 digs.
Both Bennett (14 digs) and Milayne Danna who scooped 13 digs surpassed the 500-dig mark in their respective careers. It was the 25th career outing reaching double digits in digs for Bennett.
Avery Breaux passed out 50 assists, hitting the mark for the second time in the past three outings. The Scott, La., native netted 12 digs moving her into the lead with Bennett for double-doubles at seven.
Louisiana and Arkansas State return to the court at Earl K. Long Gym at 6 p.m. on Friday to continue the weekend series. The match will air live on ESPN.
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