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Volleyball: Furious Comeback for Louisiana Falls Short in Fifth Set at Coastal Carolina
Ragin’ Cajuns were even through 8-all in decisive frame before Chanticleers get a late push
CONWAY, S.C. – Louisiana Volleyball dialed up the intensity and its efficiency on offense to push Coastal Carolina to the limits before the Chanticleers were able to hold on for a 3-2 (25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 19-25, 15-10) decision on Sunday at the HTC Center.
The Ragin' Cajuns (11-6, 6-3 Sun Belt) fired off 27 kills against only four errors over 60 attempts (.383 hitting percentage) as the squad rebounded from a 2-0 deficit to take the Chanticleers (14-4, 8-0 Sun Belt) to a fifth set on their home floor for the first time in Sun Belt play this season.
Louisiana's march back into the contest started in the third set when Chinelo Ogogor successfully converted the slide play to cap off a 5-0 run that put the Ragin' Cajuns ahead at 8-6. After a brief tie at 9-all, control of the set was regained when back-to-back CCU errors followed by a Siena DeCambra ace opened a 13-9 advantage.
Leading 15-13, the defense assured the Ragin' Cajuns of extending the match when three key blocks factored into the lead being stretched out to 19-14.
Kara Barnes took charge late in the fourth set to keep Louisiana's hopes alive. Trailing 17-16, Barnes would draw a tie with a kill and then had a hand in back-to-back blocks for a 19-17 advantage. A fifth set was clinched when a pair of Lianne Sonneveld kills coupled with a Jordan Valley ace spearheaded a four-point spurt that increased the lead to 23-18.
After seven ties and a pair of lead changes the two teams were knotted at 8-all in the winner-take-all frame. The Chanticleers came up with two critical blocks, the first to break the final tie, during a 4-0 run that altered the outcome of the final stanza in their favor.
The Chanticleers ability to slow down the Ragin' Cajuns' offense in the fifth set was key. Louisiana was limited to three kills after entering the frame on the hot streak that back the hosts into a corner.
Coastal Carolina was able to build its 2-0 match lead by using a 10-4 set-ending run in the first set to break free from a slim 15-14 margin, then scored nine straight points at onset of the second set to build a 9-1 lead that Louisiana was unable to erase.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Kelsey Bennett posted a team-leading 18 kills and she was supported by Emery Judkins who added nine kills plus Barnes and Sonneveld who each supplied eight kills.
Barnes posted a match-best seven blocks (1 BS, 6 BA), Ogogor joined in on four blocks and Cami Hicks (2) and Sonneveld each were involved in multiple blocks.
The Ragin' Cajuns were able to ace the Chanticleers 11 total times throughout the contest. Siena DeCambra and Sonneveld each served up three aces while Valley added a pair.
Valley led the way in digs by totaling 11 during the final three sets after checking in at libero.
DeCambra and Reka Kotorman were equally effective in running the 6-2 attack as they finished with 23 and 22 assists, respectively.
Louisiana returns home to Earl K. Long Gym for matches with South Alabama and Troy from Friday-Saturday, Oct. 22-23. The weekend set concludes the current stretch of four straight matches against Sun Belt East Division foes.
The Ragin' Cajuns face the Jaguars on Friday (Oct. 22) followed by a matchup with the Trojans on Saturday (Oct. 23). First serve for both contests is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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