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Louisiana Volleyball Finds Its Footing and Pulls Away From Warhawks

After slow start, offense hits cruise control to secure opener in Monroe
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Posted at 12:30 AM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 01:30:31-04

MONROE (Press Release) – With a strong push to the finish line the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team kept its undefeated start to the 2020 season intact and posted a 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-12) win over ULM on Friday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

With 34 kills on a .429 hitting percentage over the final two sets Louisiana (10-0, 4-0 Sun Belt) was able to outdistance itself from ULM (1-6, 0-4 Sun Belt) and break a tie in the match. The result was a 10th consecutive victory to start the season, matching the 2014 team for the second-best start in program history.

The trio of Kelsey Bennett, Taylor Gates and Hali Wisnoskie combined for 26 kills during the last two stanzas to help the Ragin’ Cajuns fend off the upset-minded Warhawks. Louisiana ended the match with a commanding 58-35 edge in kills.

An unusual amount of attack errors – 14 through the first two sets – placed the Ragin’ Cajuns in limbo at intermission. The squad would commit only four the rest of the night, paving the way for a dominant finish.

In the third set, Louisiana turned to Bennett and Gates during two key scoring sprees that widened a one-point lead. Bennett scored three kills during a 5-0 run which stretched the lead to 15-9, then it was Gates with two timely kills during a 4-0 spurt that opened a 19-10 advantage.

Bennett’s seventh and final kill of the third set put an end to a Warhawks run that had trimmed the Ragin’ Cajuns lead to 20-15, then a few short rallies later Wisnoskie landed set point.

Louisiana was able to shake off the Warhawks earlier in the fourth set, snapping a 4-all tie with a kill from Bennett then riding the serve of Hannah Ramirez out to an 11-4 lead. With four straight kills the Ragin’ Cajuns broke open a 12-8 contest and fought off the final charge from the Warhawks.

LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS

Bennett produced team-leading totals of 17 kills and 16 digs, collecting a double-double for the fourth straight match to start Sun Belt play.

Wisnoskie scored 15 kills and added 14 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Freshman Taylor Gates recorded a new season-high total of 14 kills, landing eight off of 11 error-free swings in the final two sets helping the Ragin’ Cajuns take control.

Barnes supplied four blocks and nine kills off of 15 swings on a .400 hitting percentage. Bennett and Gates each had a hand in three blocks.

Avery Breaux (13 digs), Ramirez (11 digs) and Milayne Danna (10 digs) each reached double figures in digs giving Louisiana five players hitting the mark. The Ragin’ Cajuns out-dug the Warhawks 73-57.

Adding in 45 assists to her stat line, Breaux picked up her team-high tying fifth double-double. She also inched closer to 2,000 career collegiate assists, upping the total to 1,995.

UP NEXT

The Ragin’ Cajuns and Warhawks wrap up the two-match Sun Belt series in Monroe with a matinee on Saturday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. First serve is set for 1 p.m.

FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNSFollow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB [twitter.com]), Facebook (/RaginCajunsVB [facebook.com]) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB [instagram.com]) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Volleyball.

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