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Volleyball: Defense Helps Red Wolves Draw Even with Louisiana in Sun Belt Series
Ragin’ Cajuns unable to overcome miscues and a season-low hitting percentage
LAFAYETTE – A stout defensive effort and the swings of Madison Brown carried Arkansas State to a 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 25-16, 25-20) win over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team Friday evening at Earl K. Long Gym, evening up the three-match Sun Belt Conference series between the two teams.
The Red Wolves defense pressured the Ragin' Cajuns into 27 attack errors and a season-low .105 hitting percentage, while Brown steered the visitors' offense by racking up a career-high 34 kills.
With the win Arkansas State (6-4, 6-4 Sun Belt) avenged an early morning four-set loss to Louisiana (12-4, 6-4 Sun Belt) and moved back into a tie for third place in the SBC West Division standings with the Ragin' Cajuns.
Louisiana was left wondering what might have been had it not been for 10 attack errors and a -.025 hitting percentage resulting in a first-set defeat, after the squad rallied back to find the floor for 13 kills in a second set victory that evened the match.
With the match lead up for grabs it was Lauren Tishkoff firing off a series of three kills that had the Ragin' Cajuns within a point, 14-13, in the third set. However, a 10-0 ASU run followed and it changed the complexion of the match.
Back-and-forth play was the theme early in the fourth set as there were five ties, a pair of lead changes and the teams were deadlocked at 8-all. On the very next rally, a critical blocking error called on the Ragin' Cajuns placed the lead in the hands of the Red Wolves to stay.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Louisiana's offensive efforts were paced by Hali Wisnoskie's 13 kills which came off of 35 swings and a .314 hitting percentage, plus a season-high 12 kills from Tishkoff.
Wisnoskie picked up her 12th double-digit kills performance of the season and her best hitting percentage since Oct. 2 at ULM. For Tishkoff, the production was a by-product of her first collegiate match with double-figure attack attempts.
Tia Jade Smith threw up a team-leading five blocks having a hand in the vast majority of Louisiana's team total of eight blocks.
The Ragin' Cajuns out-dug the Red Wolves 86-74 behind the efforts of four individuals who reached double digits in digs. Hannah Ramirez was the top performer with 18 digs, followed by Avery Breaux with 17 digs, Bennett with 14 digs and Milayne Danna's 12 digs.
Ramirez stretched her streak of consecutive matches with double-digit digs to 28 straight dating back to last Oct. 11. Breaux matched her season-high digs total, equaling the output vs. Houston Baptist on Sept. 5.
Adding 36 assists to her stat line, Breaux took over the team lead with her eighth double-double of the season.
The winner of the three-match Sun Belt Conference series will be decided on Saturday when the Ragin' Cajuns and Red Wolves square off at 1 p.m. All of the action can be seen on ESPN.
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