For the fourth straight match the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball offense hit above the .200 mark. And for the fourth straight outing, the squad came away victorious.
Louisiana (4-3) hit over .200 each set on the way to a .245 clip in a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-21) win over Southern Miss (0-7) on Tuesday at Earl K. Long Gym.
The offensive efficiency had the Ragin’ Cajuns, who trailed only once the entire night, in control from start to finish. The defense kept USM from posing a threat, holding the Golden Eagles below a .100 hitting percentage until the final stages of the third set.
While the offense did its part in building a commanding 2-0 lead, hitting .250-plus each of the first two sets, it was from the service line where Louisiana shored up key wins in the first and third set.
Hali Wisnoskie served up a pair of three-point runs that were key in the opening frame – when USM held and 11-9 edge in kills – the latter stretching the lead to 20-14. Then in the third set, Lexi Hebert sewed up the sweep by serving Louisiana out to a 7-0 lead to start the frame.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
The offense was spread evenly between five players who scored at least five kills. Tia Jade Smith led the way with eight kills off her 16 swings.
Celeste Darling and Wisnoskie chipped in seven kills apiece, Dree’Ana Abram landed six kills and Kara Barnes posted five kills.
Wisnoskie took home team-high honors with 14 digs and Hebert (13 digs) reached double digits for the second straight match.
The frontline defense was a group effort as well, with six different players having a hand in at least one block. Abram was involved in three blocks – one solo stuff and two assisted blocks.
Gemma Cantone captured team-high honors with 16 assists. Avery Breaux handed out 13 helpers and collected six digs.
Louisiana begins a three-week road trip when the squad travels to Norman, Okla., for the Oklahoma Nike Invitational being held Friday-Saturday, Sept. 13-14 at McCasland Field House. The tournament field features three Power 5 teams: Arizona State, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma.
The Ragin’ Cajuns open tournament play on Friday meeting Arizona State at 11 a.m. and Georgia Tech at 5 p.m., then conclude their stay in Oklahoma on Saturday facing the host-Sooners at 11 a.m.