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Preview: A-State Preps For SBC Home Opener Friday

October 3, 2019

JONESBORO, Ark. (10/3/19) – Looking to rebound from a tough start to Sun Belt Conference play, the Arkansas State volleyball team is set to open home Sun Belt Conference action Friday and Saturday.

The Red Wolves (9-5, 0-2 SBC) host Texas State (10-6, 2-0) in the conference home opener on Friday before taking on UT Arlington (9-5, 1-1) on Saturday. First serve for both matches is slated for 6:30 p.m. and fans are encouraged to wear orange to Friday’s match in memory of head coach Santiago Restrepo’s son Javier, who passed away 10 years ago this past July after a courageous battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 4. To read Javi’s story, visit this link.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the door for all matches.

Match Information
Dates: Oct. 4-5
Location: First National Bank Arena (10,563) – Jonesboro, Arkansas

Friday, Oct. 4:
6:30 p.m. – Texas State (10-6, 2-0 SBC) at Arkansas State (9-5, 0-2) (
            *PROMOTION: Fans wear ORANGE to honor the memory of Javier Restrepo*

Saturday, Oct. 5:
6:30 p.m. – UT Arlington (9-5, 1-1) at Arkansas State (
            *PROMOTION: Heroes’ Night*

            – First responders and military receive free ticket, family members of heroes’ receive discounted tickets ($3).

Series History vs. Texas State & UT Arlington

Record vs. Texas State: 9-9
Last Meeting: W, 3-2 (11/2/2018 – Jonesboro, Ark.)
Streak: A-State, 1
Restrepo vs. Texas State: First meeting

Record vs. UT Arlington: 9-11
Last Meeting: L, 0-3 (11/4/2018 – Jonesboro, Ark.)
Streak: UTA, 1
Restrepo vs. UTA: 3-0

Quick Hitters

  •  – This season marks the 45th year of volleyball at Arkansas State, owning an all-time mark of 1,053-538-5 (.661)
  •  – In Sun Belt Conference home openers, A-State is 18-6 all-time.
  •  – Arkansas State is a perfect 34-0 since 2017 when taking the first two sets. See page 5 of match notes for more.
  •  – The Red Wolves own the No. 2 hitting percentage defense in the league, holding foes to a .158 clip. A-State held 11 of its first 12 opponents to percentages of under .200.
  •  – Through the first 14 matches, A-State has tallied 19 total double-double performances. Through the same amount of matches in 2018, the Red Wolves totaled 12. A-State’s 2019 pace is the best by a Red Wolves team since before 2010.
  •  – Peyton Uhlenhake is tied for the league lead in double doubles with 7 thus far in 2019.
  •  – Entering Friday’s match, Arkansas State ranks in the top five in the Sun Belt Conference in 12 categories, including the top blocking team in the league.
  •  – Under first-year head coaches, the Red Wolves are 144-101 overall.

Know the Foe: Texas State & UT Arlington

  •  – Texas State, which was unanimously picked to win the Sun Belt Conference Western Division in the preseason, enters the weekend 2-0 in league play after taking a pair of home matches against Louisiana (3-1) and ULM (3-0). The Bobcats have won seven of their last eight matches, with the lone loss in that stretch coming to now-top-ranked Baylor (9/24). TSU is coming off a historic 2018 campaign, earning its first NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament victory and its first SBC regular-season and tournament titles in history.
  •  – The Bobcats are led by senior outside hitter Cheyenne Huskey, who was tabbed as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Defensive specialist Micah Dinwiddie was voted as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year while sophomore setter Emily DeWalt earned Preseason Setter of the Year laurels.
  •  – UT Arlington comes to Jonesboro with a 1-1 league mark, splitting 3-1 decisions against ULM (W 3-1) and Louisiana (L 1-3). The Mavericks have won four of their last six outings. Bre Walp leads UTA and the Sun Belt Conference in total blocks with 54, while Brooke Townsend ranks third in the league in kills with 188.

Home, Sweet Home

  •  – The 2019 season marks the 32nd season Arkansas State has played volleyball at First National Bank Arena, formerly known as The Convocation Center.
  •  – In the previous 31 seasons (with the 2011 season being played at the HPESS building), A-State has racked up a solid 291-82 ledger (.780) and has claimed eight or more home victories in five straight seasons.
  •  – The Red Wolves went 8-3 in the 2018 season and has had undefeated home seasons six times, most recently in 2015 (8-0).

Welcome to the (Block) Party

  •  – Through the first 14 matches of 2019, the Red Wolves have amassed 112.0 blocks, which ranks first in the Sun Belt Conference entering the weekend. That total is the best since the 2015 squad, Arkansas State’s last NCAA Tournament team, earned 115.0 blocks through the first 14.
  •  – Over the same span in 2018, A-State tallied 71.5 blocks as a squad.
  •  – Freshman Kendahl Davenport ranks fourth in total blocks in the league (48).

Double Vision

  •  – In 14 matches, Arkansas State players totaled 19 double-doubles to open the year, led by seven from Peyton Uhlenhake and five from Malgorzata Andersohn. That team total bests the 2018 mark through 14 (12).
  •  – Uhlenhake’s total is currently tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference.
  •  – Julianna Cramer has accounted for three, while Macey Putt has three and Hannah Cox has one.
  •  – In 2018, the Red Wolves totaled 33, with Macey Putt tied for second on the team with 8.

First Set Is Key … Second Set Also Helps

  •  – Winning the first set is always a great start to a Red Wolves’ victory. In 2018, A-State was nearly unbeatable after taking the first set, going 16-3.
  •  – Over the past two-plus seasons, the Red Wolves are 41-9 when going up 1-0 in the match.
  •  – If you extend that trend into the second set, A-State was 14-0 when it took the first two sets in 2018, and 34-0 dating back to 2017.
  •  – This season, the Red Wolves are 6-0 when taking leads of 1-0 and 2-0.

Defense! (Clap Clap) Defense! (Clap Clap)

  •  – Defense has been a staple of Arkansas State’s success in recent years. In 2018, the Red Wolves were 8-2 when holding opponents to a hitting percentage of under .200.
  •  – This year, A-State has held 11 of its first 12 opponents to hitting percentages of below .200 to open the year (the one team being nationally-ranked Rice, who hit .226). As of Oct. 3, the Red Wolves own the No. 2 opposing attack percentage in the Sun Belt Conference, holding foes to a mark of just .158.

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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