(UL Athletics) – Charged by a .305 hitting percentage the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team was able to stay one step ahead of ULM en route to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-12) victory on Senior Day at Earl K. Long Gym.
The Ragin’ Cajuns offense was in cruise control the entire afternoon, averaging nearly 15 kills per set in capturing the win which locked up a spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and completed the weekend sweep of the Warhawks.
Louisiana (12-15, 8-6 Sun Belt) landed 15 kills in each of the first two sets, gradually overtaking ULM (11-19, 1-13 Sun Belt). In both frames, the Ragin’ Cajuns gained separation after the 13-point mark.
In the opening stanza it was pair of kills from senior Darby O’Grady that finished off a 4-1 run which stretched out a 13-12 lead. In a similar position midway through the second set, the Ragin’ Cajuns fired off seven kills – three from Hali Wisnoskie and a pair of senior Dree’Ana Abram – during an 8-3 run.
The decisive set featured a quick blow from Louisiana – an exact replica of the ending Friday in Monroe. Quickly it was 12-4 in favor of the Ragin’ Cajuns, capped off when the offense ripped off six kills during the back end of set-opening run. ULM would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Louisiana, which won for the seventh time in its past eight outings, produced 44 kills, errored only eight times and averaged over 20 digs per set for the second straight outing. The hitting percentage (.305) marked a season-high figure and raised the squad’s mark in SBC play to .211.
Wisnoskie registered double digits in kills for the eight straight match, totaling a match-high 12 kills on only 29 swings at a .379 clip. She moved within three kills of reaching 300 for the third straight season.
Louisiana’s honored seniors, Abram and O’Grady, shared in the spotlight on offense with both generating 10 kills. For O’Grady the production marked a career-high total, while Abram finished the contest error-free over 23 swings.
Tia Jade Smith continued to find timely kills, netting eight off 17 attempts, and threw up a team-best three blocks (1 BS, 2 BA).
Avery Breaux turned in another double-double – her third in the past four matches – by handing out 35 assists and scooping a team-best 15 digs. It was her team-leading 13th double-double of the season.
Libero Hannah Ramirez collected 13 digs and Kelsey Bennett chipped in 10 digs, joining Breaux in double figures.
The Ragin’ Cajuns won the service ace battle this time against the Warhawks, totaling four with two apiece from Abram and Breaux. For Abram, she reached 20 aces in a season for the first time in her collegiate career.
Wisnoskie, Smith, O’Grady and Abram all hit .320 or higher in setting the tone for Louisiana’s sixth straight sets sweep of the season.
Louisiana concludes regular season play Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16 on the road in the state of Arkansas, competing in Sun Belt Conference rematches against Arkansas State and Little Rock.
The Ragin’ Cajuns first stop is in Jonesboro on Friday for a 5 p.m. meeting with the Red Wolves. The trip concludes Saturday evening in Little Rock with first serve against the Trojans set for 6:30 p.m.