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Louisiana Volleyball Outlasted by UIW in Fast-Paced Match
Final outing for the Ragin’ Cajuns at the UTRGV Tournament
9/21/2021 | 6:00 p.m.
EDINBURG, Texas – Louisiana Volleyball fell to Incarnate Word 3-2 (25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 25-14, 7-15) in a hard-fought match on Saturday (Sept. 11) that closed out the team's stay in the Rio Grande Valley at the UTRGV Tournament.
UIW (5-4) finished with a slight 65-60 advantage in kills, while Louisiana (4-3) out-dug the Cardinals 80-78 in a contest that featured numerous ties and lead changes.
The Ragin' Cajuns found themselves in a 2-1 match deficit after the Cardinals dialed up 33 kills combined over the second and third sets to forge ahead.
Louisiana's path to forcing the winner-take-all frame was set up by critical service aces from Reka Kotorman and Brianna Franklin that led to a 16-11 advantage. Kelsey Bennett scored a kill as the Ragin' Cajuns were the first to 20, then a 5-1 run closed out the set and evened the match.
UIW grabbed hold of the momentum in the decisive fifth set by rolling out to an 8-2 lead.
For the Ragin' Cajuns, the match marked the end of pre-conference tournament weekends. It also brought an end to the team's season-opening road trip with the home opener at Earl K. Long Gym set for Sept. 21 vs. Lamar.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Bennett paced Louisiana's efforts with a match-high 22 kills, marking the third time she's recorded 20-plus kills in the past four matches.
Emery Judkins landed 13 kills and Coco Gillett produced 12 kills to account for the remaining majority of the Ragin' Cajuns' offense.
Kara Barnes led a group of seven Ragin' Cajuns who had at least one block with a team-high four stuffs. Cami Hicks (3 blocks), Kotorman (2 blocks) and Judkins (2 blocks) also tallied multiple blocks.
Jordan Valley topped the charts for Louisiana with 19 digs as the squad reached the 80-dig mark for the fourth time in seven outings this season.
Kotorman handed out 34 assists and contributed 13 digs as she joined Bennett (had 13 digs) in collecting a double-double in the contest.
Louisiana hosts the first home match of the Kristi Gray era on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at Earl K. Long Gym facing Lamar in a non-conference contest at 6 p.m.
The Lamar matchup marks the start of a three-match homestand for the Ragin' Cajuns that continues Friday-Saturday, Sept. 24-25 when Georgia State and Georgia Southern visit for the first Sun Belt Conference matches of the 2021 season.
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