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Defense Propels Red Wolves To 2-0 Day At Hokie Invitational

September 20, 2019

BLACKSBURG, Va. (9/20/19) – Defense has been a consistent presence for Arkansas State volleyball so far in 2019, and that trend continued on Friday at the Hokie Invitational.

A-State (8-3) continued its strong defensive play that has been a consistent presence throughout non-conference play as the Red Wolves held both of their opponents to sub-.150 hitting percentages and totaled 16 blocks to down Charlotte (3-0) and Virginia Tech (3-1).

Across the two matches, Julianna Cramer combined for 54 assists, while three Red Wolves accounted for 11 or more kills in the second match of the day.

MATCH 1 – Arkansas State 3, Charlotte 0

Arkansas State opened up the Hokie Invitational in sweeping fashion, defeating Charlotte 3-0 in the first half of Friday’s twin bill. Peyton Uhlenhake led the way with a double-double performance (12 kills, 11 digs), while Macey Putt also tallied a dozen kills. Uhlenhake also served up a pair of aces – two of A-State’s six compared to just one by the 49ers.

Julianna Cramer paced A-State with 23 assists and eight digs, while Malgorzata Andersohn added 16 assists.

Defensively, Hannah Cox led the Red Wolves with 15 digs, while Kendahl Davenport notched four blocks. Timber Terrell collected three blocks to go along with eight kills on the offensive end. The Red Wolves held the 49ers to just a .114 hitting percentage, marking the ninth time in 10 matches A-State held an opponent to a sub-.200 clip.

Set 1 – A-State 25-20
Arkansas State took an early 2-0 lead on a kill by Putt and ace by Uhlenhake, but the 49ers would tighten things up and take a 7-6 lead on a kill by Molly Shaw. From there, the Red Wolves managed to reclaim the lead for good, ultimately taking a 1-0 lead in the match.

Uhlenhake led the way with four kills and an ace in the set, while Putt and Terrell tallied three kills apiece.

Set 2 – A-State 25-18
The 49ers took an early 3-0 lead, but that was not enough to keep the Red Wolves from getting things going offensively. A-State ultimately took the lead for good at 5-4 on a Macey Putt kill. After the Red Wolves upped the advantage to 20-15, Charlotte inched a bit closer with a couple of points to cut the deficit, but kills by Putt, Stanford and Uhlenhake were part of a 5-1 run to close the set.

Putt added seven kills to her credit in the set to lead the way, with Andersohn and Cox factoring into the scoring column with aces.

Set 3 – A-State 25-20
In a back-and-forth third set, the Red Wolves took an early 4-1 lead, but the 49ers countered with a 3-0 run to tighten things up. Twelve ties later, a costly attack error gave A-State a 20-19 lead that would be part of a set- and match-ending 6-1 run, capped off by a kill from Josie Stanford – one of her six in the contest.

Uhlenhake led the way with 5 kills in the set and closed the match by earning her fifth double-double of the year, which leads the squad.

With the win in the weekend opener, Arkansas State is now 32-0 when taking the first two sets in a match dating back to 2017.

MATCH 2 – Arkansas State 3, Virginia Tech 1

In the nightcap, the Red Wolves held off a feisty Virginia Tech squad that was entering the match on a four-match winning streak. That streak ended, with A-State claiming an exciting 3-1 victory over the Hokies behind 31 assists from Julianna Cramer and a combined 36 blocks from Davenport (11), Putt (12) and Terrell (13). Terrell and Davenport were also strong in the front row for the Red Wolves, each notching five blocks apiece.

In her 15 attacks, Davenport only erred twice, leading to an impressive .600 hitting percentage.

Cramer recorded the first 30-assist performance of her career and the first by a Red Wolf since Ellie Watkins had 39 against Tulane to end the 2018 season.

Set 1 – A-State 27-25
The two teams engaged in an exciting, back-and-forth opening set that included 12 ties and saw the lead change a dozen times as well.

The turning point of the set came at 25-all, when Restrepo challenged a four-hit call that would have given the Hokies set point at 26-25. However, the call was reversed and the point replayed. From there, the Red Wolves claimed the next two points on a service error and kill by Uhlenhake to cap off an exciting finish to the first set.

Timber Terrell hit a solid .600 in the set, tallying six kills. Kendahl Davenport added three kills as well. Julianna Cramer led the offense effectively, dishing out nine assists.

Set 2 – Virginia Tech 25-18
The Hokies opened up the set on a 6-0 run that included two aces by Talyn Jackson, but the Red Wolves were able to regain momentum and tie it up at 8-all. Virginia Tech then went on another run to move ahead 17-12.

Facing a 22-14 deficit, the Red Wolves battled back to claim the next four points and trim the margin in half, but Virginia Tech would claim three in a row to even up the overall match score at a set apiece.

Paulina Sobolewska and Madison Brown each tallied a pair of kills off the bench to aid the A-State attack.

Set 3 – A-State 25-22
The Red Wolves opened with a quick 3-0 lead and would extend it to as much as six at 18-12, but the Hokies would tie things up at 19. That would lead to a back-and-forth finish, with A-State moving ahead 23-22 and ultimately taking the set on one of Uhlenhake’s two aces in the set.

Putt heated up on the offensive end, firing seven kills to accompany three more by Davenport. Cramer led the attack, dishing out seven assists.

Set 4 – A-State 25-22
After the Red Wolves claimed the opening point in the fourth set, the Hokies took the lead at 4-3 on a kill by Anabel Zier and stretched it out to six at 11-5.

The Scarlet and Black would not go away quietly, clawing back to tie up the set score at 15-all and scoring the go-ahead point on a kill by Putt to lead 16-15. From there, the Red Wolves would stave off a comeback attempt from the Hokies and close out the day with their second win in as many matches, extending their winning streak to three.

Uhlenhake factored in a career-high 16 kills in the contest to aid in the Red Wolves’ defense, while Hannah Cox added a match-high 20. The match marked the fourth time Cox collected 20 or more digs. Putt tallied 10 digs to earn her third double-double of the year. As a squad, A-State held the Hokies to an attack percentage of .130, marking the third straight match it held an opponent to a clip of .130 or less and the 10th time in 11 matches holding an opponent to a sub-.200 mark.

Next Up

The Red Wolves close out non-conference play Saturday at Noon CT, taking on Chattanooga before opening Sun Belt Conference play on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Troy.

Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.

Original article source: | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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