Posted: Nov 5, 2012 12:08 AM by UL Sports Information
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team was able to contain UALR offensive star Edina Begic in a sweep of the Trojans in Lafayette last month. On Sunday here at the Jack Stephens Center, Begic powered the Trojans to a five-set victory (26-28, 25-21, 23-25, 25-12, 15-12) with a career-high 34 kills.
Begic and the Trojans (12-12, 8-4 Sun Belt) erased a 2-1 deficit with a 27-15 kills edge over the final two sets to outlast the Ragin' Cajuns (15-15, 6-8 Sun Belt) and avenge last month's sweep at Earl K. Long Gym.
Louisiana was unable to collect the sideouts necessary in the fourth set to finish off the match in four sets. UALR sported a 76 percent sideout rate compared to 40 percent for the Cajuns in cruising to a 25-13 win that set up a winner-take-all frame.
UL grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fifth set thanks to two Trojans miscues. The hosts bounced back with four unanswered points - three kills and a Adisa Hodzic block solo - to jump in front.
Twice the Cajuns worked their way back into a tie, the second time occurring when Kelly Wiesmann landed her 11th kill of the match to forge a 12-all tie.
That prompted a Trojans timeout and they succeeded in switching the momentum. Begic's 34th and final kill of the afternoon put UALR in the lead. A Marleen de Zoete ace set up match point and she landed a kill to hand the Trojans victory.
The loss kept the Ragin' Cajuns from clinching their Sun Belt Tournament berth. Louisiana needs one more FIU loss or two South Alabama losses to qualify for the upcoming SBC Tournament in Bowling Green, Ky.
UL will be scoreboard watching next weekend as their conference slate is complete. FIU hosts South Alabama and Troy next weekend. In addition to visiting FIU, South Alabama faces Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Fla.
The Ragin' Cajuns conclude the 2012 regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at Earl K. Long Gym hosting former Sun Belt rival New Orleans. First serve in the match that marks the final home outing for seniors Blair Claypoole and Mandi Gavin is set for 7 p.m.
Claypoole led the Cajuns' charge in her final Sun Belt match, posting 14 kills off 37 swings. Lavinia Tataran (12 kills) and Wiesmann (11 kills) joined her in double figures.
The match was a heated battle with four of the five sets being decided by four points of less. There were 40 ties and 13 lead changes. The two teams combined for 179 digs, with UALR holding a 98-81 edge.
Two Cajuns reached 20 digs led by Andrea Hole's 24. Libero Caitlyn Auxilien collected 20 digs marking her 25th match in double digits.
Gavin posted her 10th double-double of the season, scooping 16 digs to go along with her 44 assists.
The Trojans' efficient attack made the difference in the match. UALR hit .237 compared to .143 for Louisiana and finished with a 73-57 advantage in kills.
Hodzic supported Begic in fueling the Trojans offense by reaching her career-high in kills with 18. In addition to dishing out 64 assists, de Zoete landed a match-best 25 digs - one of three Trojans with 20-plus digs.
In an opening set that saw 13 ties and five lead changes, the Ragin' Cajuns were able to outlast the Trojans by fighting off three ties on set point attempts. Wiesmann and Tataran teamed up to post kills on back-to-back rallies after a 26-all tie to give UL its fourth set victory in as many tries over the Trojans.
Begic and the 10th and 11th Cajuns attack error of the second set allowed the hosts to forge a tie in the match. Begic snapped a 21-all tie with kills on consecutive rallies. UL then hit into attack errors on the next two rallies to hand UALR a 25-21 win.
Louisiana dug its way out of a 10-6 deficit in the third set with a 5-1 run that created a tie. The Cajuns eventually overtook the Trojans at 15-14 on the second of back-to-back Claypoole kills.
UL never trailed despite four more ties. A Wiesmann kill from Gavin snapped a 20-all tie, then Kaylee Nemeth's lone kill of the match delivered set point after Begic notched a kill to trim the UALR deficit to 24-23.
A meager 40 percent rate of sideouts and only seven kills were the culprits that kept Louisiana from finishing the match in four sets. The Trojans hit a blistering .382 (17 kills, 4 errors, 34 attempts) and held a decisive 17-7 edge in kills on the way to a 25-13 win that kept them alive in the match.