Aug 30, 2014 1:35 AM by UL Sports Information
HOUSTON, Texas - The Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team fought off a stubborn Fresno State squad to pick up a 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21) win in the season opener at the Adidas Rice Invitational at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Kaylee Nemeth led all players with 13 kills on the day, committing just one error on 29 swings (.414), while Andrea Hole and Stacey Reilly each picked up double-doubles in the opener. Reilly, a true freshman making her first career start, hit .286 on the day with a dozen kills and 17 digs while Hole dished out 47 assists and had 10 digs while leading the team to a .201 attack percentage for the match.
"The girls came out and stuck to our game plan and executed it pretty well," head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "It's always a good feeling to go out there and get the first win under our belt and play as well as we did for the majority of the match."
Junior Sara Mossakowski just missed a double-double of her own with nine kills and 14 digs, while Chanelle Gardner added 11 kills and a pair of blocks.
The Cajuns jumped out to a 2-0 lead, hitting at a .260 clip in the first two sets behind nine kills from Nemeth and 26 assists from Hole; however, after trailing 20-10 in the second set, the Bulldogs found their spark. Fresno cut the lead down to 23-20 before the Ragin' Cajuns were able to close out the frame.
FSU carried that momentum over into the third set, racing out to a 7-2 lead. The Bulldogs held Louisiana to just .030 hitting in the set and forced the Ragin' Cajuns into eight attack errors, never trailing and cutting the Louisiana lead in half with a 25-18 win.
But the Ragin' Cajuns closed out the third set strong, scoring five of seven of the set's final points before and quickly took commanding 14-6 lead in the fourth set behind three kills from Reilly. Fresno State managed to trim the lead to as little as three on two occasions, including a 4-1 late run to get to 24-21 before Hole found Reilly once again for the match-clinching kill.
"Fresno got up pretty big in the third set, but our girls did not quit," Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "We were able to get some momentum going late in the third set and it carried us into the fourth set."
The Ragin' Cajuns will continue the Adidas Rice Invitational with a pair of matches on Saturday, beginning with an 11:00 a.m. match versus Rice before a 5:30 p.m. match versus UC Davis closes out the weekend.