Oct 3, 2013 2:19 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - After nearly a four-week span where it played nine consecutive matches away from its home court, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team was glad to be playing in front of familiar faces on Wednesday against ULM.
Kaylee Nemeth continued her strong play with a career-high 15 kills and the Ragin' Cajuns fought off an early challenge by the Warhawks to post a 26-24, 25-17, 25-16 victory in a Sun Belt Conference match at Earl K. Long Gym.
Andrea Hole posted a double-double with 35 assists and 12 digs as Louisiana (11-6, 1-2 Sun Belt) snapped a three-match losing streak. Tonice White added 10 kills for the Ragin' Cajuns, who were playing at home for the first time since opening the season on Sept. 6-7 in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Volleyball Classic.
"Our team knew that we kind of stepped on our own foot last weekend and we wanted to make sure that we were focused coming into tonight," head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "I couldn't be more pleased with their performance tonight. The unsung hero was Andrea Hole ... she did a great job getting Tonice (White) lined up, she did a great job on defense, she did a great job finding Kaylee (on offense) and that's what needed to happen."
The Ragin' Cajuns led 17-13 in the first set after Chanelle Gardner blocked Alannah Cullum's attempt at the net before ULM (4-15, 0-3 Sun Belt) staged a comeback, taking an 18-17 lead on a kill by Blanca Ocana. Both teams traded points before kills by Gardner and Sara Mossakowski gave Louisiana the opening set.
Louisiana, which hit .300 in the opening set, increased their average on offense in the second set as it posted a .364 average. A kill by White snapped an 11-all deadlock before Lavina Tataran recorded a service ace for a 13-11 advantage. ULM closed the gap to 14-13 in a kill by Iren Marinova, but kills by Hole and Nemeth along with an attack error by ULM's Rachel Arnason give the Ragin' Cajuns a 17-13 lead they would not relinquish.
Nameth and Tataran recorded four kills each in the decisive third set as Louisiana posted its best average of the match - .387 - to pull away. The Ragin' Cajuns used a 7-1 run that turned a 7-6 deficit into a 13-8 lead after an attack error by Ocana. Nemeth, who hit .522 for the match (15-3-23), recorded a pair of kills during the run while Mossakowski posted a kill and Hole recorded a service ace.
ULM was led on offense by Ocana who posted 14 kills with Hadley Swartz following with 10. Marcela Araya recorded 15 digs for ULM, becoming the fifth player in school history to record 1,000 digs in a career. Araya, the Sun Belt leader in digs per set (4.40) entering the match, increased her career total to 1,004. Kayla Kane added 28 assists and 10 digs for the Warhawks.
Louisiana heads back out on the road for a pair of Sun Belt Conference matches beginning on Friday when it faces Troy in a 7 p.m. contest at Trojan Arena. The Ragin' Cajuns will wrap up their two-game roadtrip on Sunday when they visit Arkansas State in a 1 p.m. match at the Convocation Center.