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Volleyball: Dominant Finish by Louisiana Volleyball Turns Away Texas Southern
Ragin’ Cajuns flip the script with double-digit point triumphs in the final three sets
EDINBURG, Texas – Louisiana Volleyball responded from an opening-set loss with dominant efforts the next three sets in claiming a 3-1 (23-25, 25-10, 25-11, 25-13) win over Texas Southern on Friday (Sept. 10) at the UTRGV Tournament.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (4-2) offense hit above .400 each of the final three frames while the defense limited the Tigers (1-6) to a sub-.100 clip during the stretch including a pair of negative marks as the comeback trail began.
Louisiana wound up firing off 53 kills on a .373 hitting percentage throughout the contest. The Ragin’ Cajuns produced 41 kills off 83 attempts and committed only four attack errors as they overwhelmed Texas Southern the final three stanzas.
After letting a 10-2 lead slip away in the first set, the Ragin’ Cajuns used a pair of five-point runs in the second stanza to break free from the Tigers after the lead was 13-8.
Kelsey Bennett served up a pair of aces as Louisiana sprinted out to a 5-1 lead in the third set. Later it was Kara Barnes landing three kills during a five-point stretch that grew the lead to 17-3.
Louisiana generated 16 kills in the match-clinching fourth set. The charge was led by Emery Judkins who came up with back-to-back critical scores after the Tigers trimmed the lead to 16-10, then Bennett who found the floor three times in the last four rallies to secure match point.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
A balanced offensive attack that saw five players score at least five kills was led by Coco Gillett (13 kills), Bennett (12 kills) and Barnes (12 kills) who each reached double digits.
Barnes, who made an impact on offense on just 17 swings, also dominated at the net with a match-high tying seven blocks. Chinelo Ogogor also had seven blocks as the tandem accounted for the bulk of the Ragin’ Cajuns team total of 13 blocks.
Louisiana switched to the 6-2 system to shake off the Tigers and it resulted in Siena DeCambra and Reka Kotorman each tallying 21 assists.
Bennett led the way with 17 digs as she collected her team-leading fifth double-double in only six matches. Hannah Ramirez joined her in double figures with 15 digs, extending her streak of consecutive matches with double-digit digs to 42 straight (dates back to Oct. 2019).
Three different Ragin’ Cajuns recorded multiple service aces as the squad posted 10 in the contest. Bennett and Brianna Franklin led the way with three aces apiece.
Leading the team’s efficient effort was Barnes (12 K, 1 E, 17 TA) and Ogogor (6 K, 0 E, 9 TA) who both hit .600-plus plus Judkins (7 K, 0 E, 16 TA) and Gillett (13 K, 3 E, 25 TA) who each hit .400-plus.
Louisiana completes its stay in the Rio Grande Valley area and play in the UTRGV Tournament on Saturday (Sept. 11) facing Incarnate Word in a 2 p.m. match at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
The contest with the Cardinals is being streamed free of charge on the WAC Digital Network. A link for live stats is available on the Volleyball schedule page at RaginCajuns.com.
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