A-State volleyball splits matches at TCU Invitational

From A-State Sports
Dennen Cuthbertson, Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations

A-State Sweeps NC State

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Arkansas State volleyball team continued its season-opening tournament at the TCU Invitational with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19) sweep of North Carolina State at the University Recreation Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Red Wolves (2-0) outhit NC State (1-2) .248 to .118 and had 11 blocks against five for the Wolfpack to help secure the win for A-State. The victory for Arkansas State was the program’s first over a school from the Atlantic Coast Conference since the 1995 season when the team defeated North Carolina 3-1.

“I loved the effort we got from the team and this was a solid outing by us against a team from a very good conference,” A-State head coach David Rehr said. “We started a little slow in set one because we got stuck in a rotation they were able to exploit a couple of times, but once we got a point to get out of that things started rolling. We will look to make some adjustments before playing TCU later.”

North Carolina State raced out to a 6-1 lead in set one, but A-State responded with an 8-3 run, finished with a block by Mallory Warrington and Anna Murphy, to tie the set at 9-9. The Wolfpack retook the advantage at 17-11 with an 8-2 run of their own, but A-State closed the set on a 14-4 run to win game one 25-21.

Both teams began set two evenly with the score tied at 8-8 before a 6-0 run by Arkansas State, capped by two Murphy kills, put the tally at 14-8. NC State battled back to within two points a few times, the last at 24-22 on an A-State attack error, but a kill by Carlisa May clinched a 25-22 set win and 2-0 edge in the match for the Red Wolves.

A-State jumped out to a 10-7 advantage in set three after a Warrington kill, but NC State came back to tie things up 17-17 on a kill by Perry Ramsey. However, the Red Wolves used a 7-1 run, capped by a Drew Jones kill, to set up match point. The Wolfpack earned one point to make the score 24-19, but a kill by Murphy gave Arkansas State a 25-19 set win and 3-0 match victory.

Jones (13) and May (11) led the team in kills for the match on hitting percentages of .227 and .214, respectively. Warrington dished out 37 assists to pace the Red Wolves and also tallied six digs and three blocks. Markie Schaedig registered 19 digs for the second straight match, while Jessica Heuertz was second on the team with 13 of her own. Kelsey Reis recorded seven blocks, while Murphy added two blocks defensively to go along with seven kills on a .429 attacking percentage.

A-State comes back, but drops tough match to TCU

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Arkansas State volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit, but dropped a 3-2 (14-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-19, 14-16) match to Texas Christian University Saturday night at the University Recreation Center in Fort Worth, Texas in the Red Wolves’ final match of the TCU Invitational.

 

A-State (2-1) fell behind by two sets early, but was the first to 10 in set three and held a 15-11 lead after a TCU (2-0) attack error at the media timeout. The Horned Frogs went on a 7-3 run to tie the score at 18-18, but A-State responded to take a 21-19 edge after a block by Kenzie Fields. TCU got within 23-22, but a kill by Drew Jones and block by Carlisa May and Kelsey Reis clinched a 25-22 set win and got the Red Wolves on the board 2-1.

 

The Red Wolves raced out to a 14-9 advantage in game four after a May kill, but the home team got within two points at 18-16 on a block. A-State extended its lead to 21-16 after a 3-0 run, but TCU fought back to get within 21-18. However, A-State scored four of the final five points and claimed a 25-19 set victory on a kill from May to force the decisive fifth set.

 

Arkansas State raced out to an 8-4 edge in the fifth game on two consecutive kills by Jones, but TCU went on a 5-1 run to even the score at 9-9. A-State went ahead on the next point, but wouldn’t be able to regain the lead again later in the match. The Horned Frogs earned match point at 14-13, but a kill by Anna Murphy knotted things up at 14-14 with a kill. However, Texas Christian scored back-to-back points on kills by Anna Walsh and Sarita Mikals to win the set 16-14 and match 3-2.

 

“It’s so tough to lose in five sets, but 2-1 at this tournament is not a bad showing by any stretch,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “I felt like we had two great opportunities to win sets two and five and we just didn’t get the job done. Credit to them though, they are a good team with great players, but we are too. We went into the weekend with Brentlee Weaver as our starter on the right side and she wasn’t able to play in any of the matches so that hurt us some.”

 

Jones led the team with 20 kills, tying a career high set Oct. 24, 2014 against Appalachian State, while May put down 18 kills of her own. Jones also registered her first double-double of the season with 10 digs, while Mallory Warrington tallied her second double-double in three games with 53 assists and 15 digs. Reis recorded 11 kills and had two blocks, while Markie Schaedig (22), Jessica Heuertz (14), and Lindsay Cline (11) all had double-digit digs.

 

TCU, who is also receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll like A-State, was led by Mikals’ 16 kills, while Ashley Smith led the home team with 19 digs. Mikals also registered eight blocks as the Horned Frogs had 14 blocks to A-State’s four during the match. TCU outhit the Red Wolves .230 to .192.

 

The first set was all TCU as they jumped out to a 10-5 lead. A-State got within four at 12-8, but not any closer as the home team won set one 25-14. TCU led set two 15-12 at the media timeout, but A-State tied it at 17-17 and eventually took the edge at 24-23 on a May kill. However, the Horned Frogs registered three straight blocks to win 26-24 and earn the 2-0 match advantage.

 

“We saw a lot of good things though this weekend and also know we have plenty of things to work on as well,” Rehr continued. “It never feels good to lose, but it can be part of the process early in the season to determine what adjustments need to be made. I was proud of how Drew and Carlisa stepped up in this match against TCU. They played really well and we needed them to after that first set.”

 

Jones and May were named to the all-tournament squad for the event. Jones led the team with 44 kills (4.00 per set) and had 20 digs along with two service aces to tie for the team lead over the three matches. May recorded 43 kills (3.91 per set) on a solid .277 hitting percentage to go along with nine digs and four blocks to earn the recognition.

 

Arkansas State returns to action next weekend at the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic in St. Louis, Mo. The Red Wolves will face tournament host Saint Louis Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. The team will then face Cal Poly (10 a.m.) and Western Kentucky (4:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 3 to conclude the event.

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