NORFOLK, Va. (KLFY) – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team returns to the road where the squad has rebounded quite well before in Sun Belt Conference play, venturing to Norfolk, Virginia for a two-match series with Old Dominion from Thursday-Friday, October 19-20 at the ODU Volleyball Center.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (12-10, 3-5 Sun Belt) are making their first-ever appearance at the ODU Volleyball Center. First serve both nights is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (CDT).
The series in Norfolk is being streamed live on ESPN+ and live stats can be accessed at CajunStats.com.
Louisiana looks to bounce back from a pair of hard-fought matches that didn’t go its way against SBC West co-leader South Alabama last weekend at E.K. Long Gym. The Cajuns out-blocked the Jags 15.0-13.0 and out-dug them 125-116, but a pair of near-misses in the second set each day swung the result in USA’s favor.
Highly successful on the road this season, with nine wins combined in true road and neutral site matches, the Ragin’ Cajuns have had prior success in rebounding from a series sweep. The weekend of Sept. 29-30 it was UL sweeping Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Arkansas following a setback vs. Troy on SBC opening weekend.
The Ragin’ Cajuns and Monarchs (9-13, 1-7 Sun Belt) are completing a two-year, home-and-home arrangement in SBC play. Last season, it was Louisiana claiming a series sweep of ODU at E.K. Long Gym by winning six of the seven sets contested – the first-ever series meetings between the two programs.
The ODU series marks Louisiana’s first foray outside of the Sun Belt West Division this fall. The Cajuns played exclusively within the SBC West in the first half of league play (Troy, ASU, Texas State, South Alabama).
Through eight weeks of action, Louisiana has seen five different players post 100 kills, led by the duo of Shyia Richardson (257 kills) and Celeste Darling (190 kills) at outside hitter, and four different players collect at least 150 digs, led by the libero combination of Mio Yamamoto (300 digs) and Kennedy Gustafson (231 digs).
The Monarchs enter the series reeling, having not won since the opening weekend of SBC play and looking to snap a seven-match skid. Myah Conway leads the ODU offense and ranks 12th in the country with 318 kills. On defense, Kate Kilpatrick is up to 262 digs and Bailey Burgess leads the team at the net with 80 blocks (18 solo).
Old Dominion: Louisiana leads, 2-0 | Last match: W, 3-0 on 10/21/2022 at E.K. Long Gym
In Norfolk: First Meeting | Sun Belt Matches: UL leads, 2-0
Current Streak: UL +2
- Louisiana starts the second half of Sun Belt play with a two-match series at Old Dominion.
- The October 19-20 series marks the Ragin’ Cajuns first-ever visit to Norfolk, Virginia and the ODU Volleyball Center.
- Last season, UL swept a two-match series from ODU at E.K. Long Gym – the first-ever meetings between the two programs.
- The Cajuns sport a 3-1 record on the road in SBC play, a mark that includes a sweep of Arkansas State and a five-set win at Texas State.
- Overall, Louisiana has posted nine (9) wins away from home (road & neutral combined) this season.
- UL won the defensive battle with South Alabama last weekend, out-blocking the Jags 15-13 and out-digging them 125-116 in the series.
- Cami Hicks led all players in the USA series – and entire league last weekend – with 13 blocks. Her blocks total marked her weekend-best in SBC play so far.
- UL’s defense has held foes to a sub-.200 hitting in over half of the season’s matches (12 out of 22) – held Arkansas State to a .101 clip for the entire series.
- Both Cami Hicks and Kara Barnes have notched their 300th career block – the fourth and fifth Cajuns in the rally scoring era (2001-pres.) to hit the mark.
- Shyia Richardson, sitting at 257 kills, has picked up her third consecutive 200-plus kills season of her collegiate career (started at San Francisco).
- Setter Siena DeCambra entered SBC Opening Weekend as the national leader in total assists. She currently ranks Top 20 nationally with 769 assists.
- Siena DeCambra collected her 2,000th assist with Louisiana in the South Alabama series finale.
- Kara Barnes hit .310-plus the previous three seasons, tallying 150-plus kills each time. She’s currently hitting .335 and has 154 kills.
- Averaging a career-best 2.6 kills per set and totaling 190 kills, Celeste Darling is on pace to top her career-high mark in total kills (207 in 2022).
Up Next for Louisiana
Louisiana closes out the month of October hosting in-state Sun Belt Conference foe ULM from Friday-Saturday, October 27-28 at E.K. Long Gym.
The Cajuns and Warhawks are scheduled to face off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 27) and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 14).
The series opener is Faculty Appreciation Night highlighted by a teach prize pack raffle while the Saturday contest is designated as the Louisiana Salutes match including a military veterans recognition.