Red-hot finish closes out successful home debut for Louisiana Volleyball

Cajun Nation

LAFAYETTE, La – Finishing with the upper-hand after the first two sets came down to the wire led to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team collecting a straight sets sweep (25-23, 25-23, 25-7) over Lamar in the home debut of the Kristi Gray era on Tuesday at Earl K. Long Gym.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns (5-3) were able to successfully execute a scoring opportunity each time the Cardinals (4-10) drew a 23-all tie in the opening two frames, leading to a commanding 2-0 match lead.
 
In the second set alone, Louisiana passed the test after being challenged with 14 ties and six lead changes. The key point in the set came when a successful challenge revealed that Emery Judkins‘ shot deflected off the block and out-of-bounds which gave the point and a 24-23 lead to the Ragin’ Cajuns.
 
Louisiana broke free from Lamar in the third set when a Kara Barnes kill turned the serve over to Brianna Franklin who served up seven consecutive points to open a 14-4 lead. Later it was a pair of service aces apiece recorded by Coco Gillett and Hannah Ramirez that sparked a 10-1 set-ending run that wrapped up the sweep.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 14 kills on a .407 hitting percentage – while the defense pressured the Cardinals in to a -.111 clip – to put the visitors away in the final stanza.
 
Tuesday’s contest marked the start of a three-match week at E.K. Long for Louisiana which hosts Georgia State and Georgia Southern from Friday-Saturday, Sept. 24-25 during Sun Belt-opening weekend.
 
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Gillett produced a match-high 14 kills with only one error over 28 swings (.464 hitting percentage). In the third set, she tallied six kills and served up two key aces to help put the finishing touches on the sweep.
 
Bennett totaled 10 kills, spreading her contribution evenly throughout the match with at least three each set. It marked the seventh time in eight outings the junior from Allen, Texas reached double digits in kills.
 
Barnes needed just 13 swings to land her eight kills. Her biggest score of the night occurred immediately after the successful challenge in the second set, the kill securing set point and the 2-0 match lead.
 
Hannah Ramirez led the way with 18 digs as Louisiana held a 57-47 advantage over Lamar. Ramirez joined Gillett and Bennett in notching two service aces, accounting for the majority of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ eight aces in the match.
 
Siena DeCambra handed out 30 assists to lead all players. She took over running the 5-1 system after the opening set and guided the Ragin’ Cajuns to a pair of .250-plus hitting frames the rest of the way.
 
UP NEXT
Louisiana continues its first homestand of the 2021 season and ushers in Sun Belt Conference play when Georgia State (Sept. 24) and Georgia Southern (Sept. 25) visit Earl K. Long Gym this weekend.

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