FOLEY, Ala. (11/16/23) – Arkansas State volleyball dropped a hard-fought 3-1 (25-27, 29-27, 25-20, 25-22) outcome to East No. 3 seed Georgia Southern in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Thursday.
A-State (16-14) took the opening set in extra points and nearly took the second, but the Eagles (21-7) managed to fend off the Red Wolves to take three straight frames, knocking down a dozen blocks in the match.
Kaitlin Whitlock led the Scarlet and Black with 16 kills and 10 digs – her team-leading 14th double-double of the year, while Ilayda Dincer tallied 13 kills and 13 digs with two blocks. Abby Harris drew the start on the right side and logged a career-high 11 kills with three blocks.
Freshman setter Erin Madigan recorded 48 assists and 15 digs, giving her 1,063 assists on the year – 8th most in school history dating back to the start of the 25-point rally-scoring era in 2008. Sarah Martinez and Mia Maloney tallied 21 digs apiece to lead all players. Brianna Hollingshed led the Red Wolves with four blocks to accompany nine kills, hitting .400 on the day.
The Red Wolves carried the momentum from Wednesday’s opening-round victory into the first set, overcoming a 17-12 deficit to lead 19-18 on an attack error by Reagan Barth. Georgia Southern then reclaimed a two-point lead before A-State clawed back to lead 24-23 on a Whitlock kill. The Eagles returned the favor with back-to-back points to lead 25-24, but the Red Wolves took three straight to win an exciting first set, 27-25.
Georgia Southern took the first three points of the second set, but Arkansas State roared back to take the lead, which it would expand to as much as 18-9 following a kill by Yazmyn Billings. The Eagles answered back to retake a 25-24 lead, and the teams traded set-point opportunities until Georgia Southern leveled the match with three consecutive points to take a 29-27 second-set win.
The sides traded leads early in the third set until the Eagles went on a 4-0 run to take an 11-9 lead that they would not relinquish. That lead grew to as much as seven, and then A-State saved a pair of set points on kills by Haley Glunz and Brianna Hollingshed, but Georgia Southern would win the set 25-20 to lead 2-1 in the contest.
Looking to force a fifth set, the Red Wolves surged to a 6-2 lead to start the fourth set, and stayed within a point of the Eagles until a quick 3-0 run pushed Georgia Southern’s lead out to 20-16. A-State pulled within two on a block by Dincer, and then a service error by the Eagles saved a match point. After a timeout, GSU clinched the match on a block by Jillian Gray and Megan Vickery. Gray led all players with 17 kills on 37 swings (.405).
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.
Read more from the original source:
A-State Volleyball Drops Hard-Fought 3-1 Decision in SBC Second Round. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council