JONESBORO, Ark. (11/4/22) – Rookie middle blockers Yazmyn Billings and Kyla Wiersema combined for 25 kills, helping the Arkansas State volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17) win over ULM Friday night inside First National Bank Arena.
The freshman duo combined to hit a blistering .550 with just three errors on 40 total attacks for A-State (6-19, 1-12 SBC), which also posted a dominant defensive effort against the Warhawks (7-21, 0-13).
A-State knocked down 10.0 blocks as a team, including seven by Wiersema, while holding ULM to just a .086 mark. Macey Putt added a match-high 14 kills with 11 digs and three blocks, while Kassidy Reeves also recorded a double-double with 28 assists and 14 digs.
After ULM took the first point of the match on an ace, the Scarlet and Black pulled ahead and never trailed in the first set, taking a 15-6 lead into the first media break on a kill by Putt. An ace by Bailey Helzer followed before Wiersema and Putt teamed up on a block to make it 17-9. The Warhawks pulled within five at 20-15, but A-State took five of the next six points to clinch the opening set and lead 1-0 in the match.
The Red Wolves surged ahead 7-3 in the second set, but ULM battled back to tie it at 11 with a block. After A-State reclaimed the edge, an ace by Callie Humphrey gave the visitors a 20-19 advantage. Arkansas State rallied to tie it at 23 on one of Elise Wilcox’s match-high four aces, but back-to-back kills by Logan Jeffus gave ULM a 25-23 win in the second set to knot up the match at a set each.
Arkansas State took an early lead in the third set, but led by no more than three points until a block by Wiersema and Wilcox made it 18-14. ULM then called a timeout after a kill by Wiersema put the score at 19-15, but it did little to halt the Red Wolves’ momentum at that point. A-State claimed six of the last eight points in the set, including five in a row, with another Wilcox ace pushing the hosts’ lead to 2-1.
The Red Wolves moved out to an early 10-3 lead in the fourth after a pair of Wilcox aces forced a timeout. ULM managed to trim the margin down to four before a 4-0 run made it 18-10 and forced the Warhawks to use their second timeout. A-State’s lead grew to 20-11 before ULM took five of the next six points to cut it to 21-16, but a kill by Putt and two by Billings gave Arkansas State multiple match point opportunities, leading 24-16. After ULM saved a match point, the Red Wolves clinched the victory on a block by Billings and Maddie Wiersema.
Arkansas State concludes its home slate Saturday, hosting ULM in hope to complete the weekend series sweep. The Red Wolves will honor five seniors ahead of the match, which is set for a 1 p.m. first serve on ESPN+.
Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State Red Wolves Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.
A-State Returns to Win Column Versus ULM. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council