Posted: Oct 27, 2012 10:01 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - The Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team started off the second round of Sun Belt West division matches with a straight sets sweep of UL-Monroe Saturday afternoon at Earl K. Long Gym in the program's annual "Dig Pink" match. The Cajuns produced set victories of 25-15, 25-14, 25-19.
Louisiana (15-12, 6-5 Sun Belt) used a similar script to defeat the Warhawks (5-15, 1-10 Sun Belt) and complete the season sweep of their in-state rivals. The Cajuns .221 hitting percentage overwhelmed the visitors and the defense limited UL-Monroe below .100 hitting each set.
Once again a balance effort offensively led to a win over the Warhawks. Four different Cajuns posted five kills or more led by senior Blair Claypoole's 10 kills on 22 swings.
Louisiana notched double digit kills in each set, opening the match with 13 on a blistering .379 hitting percentage.
The Cajuns sideout percentage for the match was 63 percent, while the Warhawks were limited to a 40 percent success rate.
The victory came with relative ease for UL. The Cajuns led from start-to-finish in the first two sets and wouldn't face a deficit until the third rally of the third set. The match featured only two lead changes - both in the third set.
The Cajuns kept pace with Arkansas State and UALR (both 6-4 in SBC play) in the SBC West race, pulling within a half game of both squads who meet on Sunday in Jonesboro.
Louisiana closes out the weekend homestand with its final home conference match of the season on Sunday against North Texas (19-10, 5-5 Sun Belt). The Cajuns attempt to stay ahead of the Mean Green in the SBC standings and keep pace with the winner of Sunday's ASU-UALR meeting.
First serve vs. NT on Sunday is at 1 p.m., at Earl K. Long Gym. The Cajuns are honoring seniors Mandi Gavin and Blair Claypoole in a pre-match ceremony.
Lavinia Tataran threw down nine kills and Tonice White registered seven on only 12 attempts in support of Claypoole's match-high efforts.
Gavin dished out 27 assists, lowering her total needed to surpass Lisa Bordes for third place all-time in school history to 36. The Arlington, Texas, native contributed eight digs, a block solo and two block assists into her normal efforts as starting setter.
Libero Caitlyn Auxilien moved past 400 digs (410 actual) for the season, finishing with a match-best 14 digs for her 22nd double digit mark of the year. Auxilien joins Lindsay Brown and Erika Castro as the only Cajuns in the rally scoring era to amass 400-plus digs in a single season.
Louisiana's offense continued to click, averaging 12 kills per set for a three-set affair and hitting .221 marking a hitting percentage above .200 for the fifth time in the past six outings.
The defense kept UL-Monroe out of its offensive set, limiting the visitors to a paltry .011 hitting percentage. It was the seventh time in the past eight outings that the Cajuns held the opposition below .200 hitting.
The Cajuns sweep of the Warhawks avenged a sweep suffered to the in-state foe a year ago. Louisiana improved to 39-19 all-time vs. UL-Monroe, including an 11-3 record in Sun Belt matches (2006-present).
UL posted a win for the fifth time in the past six outings. During the hot streak, the Cajuns are 16-5 in sets and are out-hitting the opposition .228 to .149.
The Cajuns opened a 4-1 lead in the first set with the first attack attempt not coming until the fifth rally. A pair of Warhawks attack errors and an Auxilien ace led to a quick 3-0 lead.
An Iren Marinova service error marked the first of four unanswered for Louisiana that stretched a 7-5 lead out to four points. The Warhawks picked up a Marcela Araya kill and Samantha Morse ace to cut the deficit to 11-7, then a kill from White and block solo from Gavin extended UL's lead to six points and the Warhawks could get no closer.
The Cajuns went on to claim the opener with three players contributing three kills or more led by Claypoole's five kills on six attempts.
Louisiana took the first point of the second set on an Araya service error and never looked back. The turning point that put UL-Monroe away came when a Morse attack error triggered a 7-0 UL run that opened a 15-5 lead. During the run, the Cajuns benefitted from four Warhawks attack errors and three kills.
UL-Monroe crawled within seven points, 17-10, but the Cajuns squashed any hopes of a rally with a Gavin kill, Claypoole kill and block thrown up by Gavin and Claypoole to extend the advantage to 20-10.
UL limited the Warhawks to a -.161 percentage and saw four different players contribute at least two kills in the victory that gave the hosts a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Cajuns started the third set a little sluggish, posting a negative hitting percentage until the offense got rolling and placed the momentum back on the hosts' side.
Three straight Cajuns attack errors resulted in the match's first tie and UL-Monroe's first lead of the afternoon. The Warhawks opened a 4-1 lead and held that advantage until the Cajuns drew even at 7-all after a Gavin kill.
Gavin's kill was the first of seven unanswered points that vaulted Louisiana into a 13-7 lead.
Leading 11-7, the Cajuns notched five kills over the next eight rallies, pulling the set hitting percentage back to a positive figure and placing the Warhawks into an 18-9 hole.
UL-Monroe pulled within four points, 23-19, on a Morse service ace. A kill by Tataran and ball handling error committed by Blanca Ocana on the ensuing rally sealed the set and match for the Cajuns.