MONROE — Another match with a balanced attack on offense pushed Louisiana Volleyball past ULM in straight sets (25-14, 25-22, 25-19) on Tuesday evening at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
Five different players scored at least six kills as Louisiana (11-4, 6-1 Sun Belt) found the floor for 41 kills on a .257 hitting percentage to outpace the 32 kills and a .164 hitting percentage from ULM (5-17, 1-6 Sun Belt).
Kara Barnes, Kelsey Bennett and Coco Gillett each tallied eight kills and the duo of Cami Hicks and Chinelo Ogogor scored six apiece to charge the offensive efforts as the Ragin’ Cajuns extended their win streak to five matches.
Tuesday’s triumph also completed a sweep of the first round of play within the Sun Belt West Division for Louisiana, the first such occurrence in program history. It has vaulted the squad to the top of the division’s standings as the halfway mark in league play approaches.
Louisiana scored the first four points of the match and led from start-to-finish in the first set. Barnes, Hicks and Ogogor each supplied three kills as the offense generated 14 kills while the defense held the Warhawks to just seven kills.
Hicks and Ogogor combined for a block that allowed the Ragin’ Cajuns to keep the lead at 16-14 in the second set. Ogogor then delivered a kill that sparked a three-point spurt that grew the advantage to 20-15.
A pair of kills from Barnes in the closing moments extended two-point leads and allowed Louisiana to prevent ULM from evening the match.
ULM held the edge in the opening moments of the third set until back-to-back aces served up by Reka Kotorman pulled Louisiana ahead at 7-6 and swung the momentum in the visitors’ favor.
The Ragin’ Cajuns grabbed control for good shortly after when a series of three straight scores, capped off by a Bennett kill, stretched the lead to 14-9.
Louisiana claimed victory over ULM for the seventh consecutive meeting and extended its lead in Sun Belt matches against its in-state foe to 28-5.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Barnes was the most efficient attacker netting her eight kills on only 11 swings and without error (.727 hitting percentage). Hicks and Ogogor each created their output (six kills) off 13 total swings.
Bennett and Gillett led the Ragin’ Cajuns to the finish line, scoring five apiece to combine for 10 of the 15 kills the team posted in the final stanza.
Gillett served up a match-high three aces and collected 13 digs trailing only the match-best 14 digs rounded up by Hannah Ramirez.
Louisiana posted six team blocks in the contest with Hicks having a hand in all but one. She reached five blocks for the second straight match and fourth time during the five-match win streak.
Siena DeCambra and Kotorman combined to hand out 35 assists running the 6-2 attack leading Louisiana to a third straight outing with a .200-plus percentage (12th time in 15 matches overall). For DeCambra, it was her third straight match with 20-plus assists.
The Ragin' Cajuns remain on the road traveling to the East Coast for matches with Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina from Friday-Sunday, Oct. 15-17.
First serve on Friday in Boone is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (CDT) and the matchup on Sunday at Coastal Carolina is set to begin 11 a.m. (CDT). Both matches can be viewed on ESPN+.
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