JONESBORO, Ark. (9/30/23) – Kaitlin Whitlock tallied a match-high 21 kills and 14 digs, but it was not enough to move the Arkansas State volleyball team past Louisiana in a 3-1 (29-27, 31-33, 25-18, 25-17) decision Saturday inside First National Bank Arena.
The sides traded extra-point set victories in the first two frames, with A-State (11-5, 1-3 SBC) evening the match with a 33-31 win in Set 2, but the Ragin’ Cajuns (11-7, 1-3) were able to take the third and fourth frames to seal the match.
Whitlock’s line resulted in her team-leading seventh double-double of the season. Erin Madigan registered 46 assists and 14 digs to go along with three blocks, while Bailey Helzer added 12 kills and 14 digs.
Both teams held multiple leads in the opening set, with A-State taking a 20-15 lead on an ace by Martinez that capped a 5-0 run. Louisiana pulled within three, and then a kill by Helzer gave the hosts set point with a 24-20 edge. The Cajuns responded with five unanswered to take a 25-24 lead in the back-and-forth frame. After a kill by Brianna Hollingshed saved a set point and tied the set at 27, the visitors took the final two points to take the set 29-27.
In what ended as a marathon second set, the lead changed hands seven times with 17 tie scores. A-State’s largest lead came at 23-18 on an attack error by the Cajuns, with a service error later setting up set point. Louisiana rallied to tie at 24 and force extra points, and the Red Wolves later held a 31-30 edge after a solo block by Yazmyn Billings. After Celeste Darling leveled the set with a kill, back-to-back offensive miscues evened the match at a set apiece.
Louisiana led by as much as five early in the third set, but A-State pulled within a point on a kill by Whitlock to make it 15-14. Nine of the next 11 points went the Cajuns’ way, setting up set point at 24-16, but kills by Whitlock and Dincer kept the set alive, followed by a set-clinching kill by Darling to give Louisiana a 2-1 lead in the contest.
The Ragin’ Cajuns rode that momentum en route to an early 7-1 lead in the fourth set, but A-State battled back to tie it at 15 on an ace by Helzer. Louisiana then went on to take 10 of the final 12 points in the match to clinch the four-set win.
A-State returns to action Friday and Saturday, traveling to South Alabama. First serve is set for 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday, with both matches slated to be broadcast live 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.
Red Wolves Drop Four-Set Decision to Cajuns Saturday. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council