Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball at Rice Adidas Invitational
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8-9, 2017
Tudor Fieldhouse • Houston, Texas
Match 8: Louisiana (4-3) at Rice (4-3)
Friday, Sept. 8 • 10 a.m. (CDT) • Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) • Houston, Texas
Series: Rice leads 8-1
Last Meeting: 9/11/15 in Houston – Rice W, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-20)
Video ($) | Live Stats
Match 9: Louisiana (4-3) vs. Cal (5-1)
Saturday, Sept. 9 • 11 a.m. (CDT) • Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) • Houston, Texas
Series: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting
Match 10: Louisiana (4-3) vs. Mississippi State (5-3)
Saturday, Sept. 9 • 7:30 p.m. (CDT) • Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) • Houston, Texas
Series: Mississippi State leads 10-8
Last Meeting: 8/26/06 at Earl K. Long Gym – Mississippi State W, 3-0 (30-26, 30-27, 30-24)
Rosters: Louisiana | Rice | Cal | Mississippi State
Schedules: Louisiana | Rice | Cal | Mississippi State
Season Stats: Louisiana | Rice | Cal | Mississippi State
Ragin' Cajuns Twitter: @RaginCajunsVB
Opponents' Twitter: @RiceVolleyball | @CalVolleyball | @HailStateVB
SETTING THE SCENE
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team is in Houston Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8-9 for the Rice Adidas Invitational at Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice University campus.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (4-3) carry a three-match winning streak into the event that features matches with host-Rice, Cal and Mississippi State.
Louisiana faces Rice (4-3) on Friday at 10 a.m. and meets Cal (5-1) at 11 a.m. and Mississippi State (5-3) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
It’s the start of three consecutive weekends on the road for head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot’s squad. Next week the Ragin’ Cajuns play in Chicago State’s tournament (Sept. 15-16) followed by the Sun Belt-opening weekend in Georgia (Sept. 22-23).
Louisiana is coming off a 3-1 weekend in the Earl K. Long Gym-based Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic, finishing as tournament runner-up. As a team, Louisiana hit .252 and averaged 14.47 kills per set in the tournament while the team's defensive efforts produced 18.93 digs per set and 3.07 blocks per set in the event.
Stacey Reilly, who has rolled off double digit kills the past four matches, paces the Ragin’ Cajuns offense with 3.00 kills per set. Freshman Hali Wisnoskie is coming off a breakout performance, leading all Ragin' Cajuns in kills during the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic with 53 on a .220 hitting percentage.
Reigning Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Week Jessica Bartczyszyn has averaged 10.84 assists per set in leading Louisiana to a .211 team hitting percentage over the first two weekends.
Defensively, the Cajuns are led on the front row by middle blockers Dree’Ana Abram and Nia Antoine who both average over a block per set. On the back row, libero Sydney Davis’ 4.36 digs per set are tops and freshman Avery Breaux has scooped double figures in four of six outings at the right back slot.
LOVING OTHERS: With an early start time on Friday and not resuming tournament play in the Rice Adidas Invitational until Saturday morning, the Ragin’ Cajuns will spend their Friday afternoon assisting at a Hurricane Harvey shelter within the Houston city limits.
HONORS FOR JESS: Senior setter Jessica Bartczyszyn was named the Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Week for matches played Aug. 28-Sept. 3. She dished out 40-plus assists three times, pushed her career assists total past 2,000 and recorded the most assists by a Sun Belt setter this season with 57 in a four-set win over Jacksonville State.
GREAT START: Improving to 4-3 on the young season after the Sawyer Camillo Classic, Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot’s squad is off to the program’s best start since the 2014 team began 7-0.
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE: One of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ goals for the season is to have the top defense in the Sun Belt. After two weeks, the team leads in digs (17.40/set) and blocks (2.76/set).
ON THE OUTSIDE, LOOKING IN: Stacey Reilly currently owns 970 career digs. She is on the verge of becoming the program's first outside hitter to reach 1,000 digs playing an entire career in the rally scoring era.
ONE LAST HOMECOMING: Senior outside hitter Stacey Reilly makes her final trip to Houston to compete collegiately. The preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection played high school volleyball at Concordia Lutheran High.
TWO GRAND AND COUNTING: Graduate senior setter Jessica Bartczyszyn’s season-high effort of 57 assists against Jacksonville State pushed her over 2,000 career assists (currently has 2,056). She joins Andrea Hole, Mandi Gavin and Kendra Hall as setters in program history who have reached 2,000 career assists in the rally scoring era.
DAVIS DIGS IT: Junior libero Sydney Davis is only seven digs shy of reaching 1,000 in her career. Coming off a 500-dig campaign last season, Davis is off to a quick start with 109 through the first seven matches and 25 sets. In accruing the 993 digs she owns entering the Rice Adidas Invitational, the Baton Rouge native has posted double digit digs 51 times in her career with the mark being 20-plus on 12 occasions.
A SWITCH MADE IT CLICK: Head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot attributes the turnaround after an opening loss in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic to the switch of Chloe Cordell and Hali Wisnoskie, from the left side to right side, respectively. Wisnoskie responded with a 22-kill output vs. Nicholls and Cordell closed out the weekend with 15 kills on a .522 hitting percentage vs. Jacksonville State.
SUPER SENIOR: Setter Jessica Bartczyszyn is not your normal senior…she's a graduate student. Bartczyszyn received her bachelor's degree in English last spring. She's now pursuing a career in nursing.
SISTER, SISTER: Outside hitter Stacey Reilly has a special companion to share her senior season with. Her sister, Katie Zimmerman, joined the Ragin' Cajuns coaching staff in June. Katie played collegiately at Wichita State (indoor) and South Carolina (beach). The sister tandem is together as Stacey chases the program's rally scoring era career record for kills and attempts to join Chanelle Gardner as the only individual to play an entire career under the rally format and reach 1,000 kills.
VETERAN ATMOSPHERE: After spending the past two seasons nurturing and developing a young squad, head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot has experience on her side in 2017. The Ragin' Cajuns returned all but one starter and 13 players from last season. The program's current roster features 10 upperclassmen.
COACH MAZEITIS-FONTENOT'S THOUGHTS
On the week leading up to the Rice Adidas Invitational: “Last weekend was good, so this week of practice needed to match that. We were a little sluggish starting the week, but progressed as the week went along. We formalized some of the lineup changes we made over the past weekend and worked on a few shifts in defense.”
On the weekend ahead at Rice: “I could not be more excited about an upcoming weekend. There are three great teams and we are fortunate to be on the floor with them. Hopefully, we come out with some success. There’s not a single match that we haven’t prepared significantly for. We’re looking or our team to come out and just play solid.”
Louisiana travels to the Chicago State Invitational Friday-Saturday, Sept. 15-16, which represents a homecoming trip for senior setter Jessica Bartczyszyn who hails from nearby Cary, Ill.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are scheduled to face Chicago State at 1 p.m. and Wright State at 5 p.m. on Friday followed by Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 2 p.m. inside the Jacoby D. Dickens Center.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
For more information on Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball, as well as all of Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along with the team on Facebook (/ULVolleyball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB).