EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team closed out Opening Weekend in sweeping fashion as the squad collected a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-10) win over Fairfield on Saturday, August 27 in the Auto Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational at Michigan State's Breslin Center.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (2-1) used a crisp performance in putting away the Stags (1-1), hitting above .320 in each set and ending the match with a .388 hitting percentage (42 K, 9 E, 85 TA). As a result, Louisiana pulled away at the midway point in both the first and second set and cruised to the finish line in the third set.
Louisiana’s productivity was driven by the outside hitter combination of Coco Gillett and Lauryn Hill who combined for 23 kills and the nearly unstoppable middle blocker duo of Kara Barnes and Cami Hicks who spread out 15 kills over a combined 26 swings.
After methodical back-and-forth play to start the first and second sets, the Ragin’ Cajuns used a scoring spurt to create separation. A trio of kills from Hicks, plus an ace from Siena DeCambra, sparked a 6-1 run that opened a 19-13 lead in Set 1. In the next frame, it was Gillett with back-to-back kills and then a combo block from Hicks and Mya Wilson that wrapped up a 5-2 jaunt that pushed Louisiana ahead 18-14 in Set 2.
The Ragin’ Cajuns raced out to a 5-2 start in the third set, then got three consecutive kills from Hill to ignite a dominating 9-0 run which expanded the lead to 20-9 and left little doubt in the outcome.
The sweep provided Louisiana with a winning mark on opening weekend, as well as a quick bounce back. The Ragin’ Cajuns were involved in a pair of reverse sweeps with Eastern Michigan and Michigan State on Friday, falling in a heartbreaker to the host-Spartans to end the night.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Gillett took home match-high honors with 13 kills while Hill posted 10 kills needing only 18 swings and finished with a .500 percentage.
Barnes produced eight kills and totaled four blocks. Hicks registered seven kills off only 10 swings and contributed to a pair of blocks.
It was a group effort on defense as seven different Ragin’ Cajuns totaled multiple digs led by Jordan Valley who closed her Homecoming trip to Michigan with a match-high 10 digs.
Reka Kotorman shined in the 6-2 attack as the top helper, passing out 26 of the team’s 40 assists. It was the third straight match she surpassed the 20-assists mark.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana's home opener occurs Labor Day Weekend when the squad hosts the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic from Friday-Saturday, September 2-3 in Earl K. Long Gym.
The Ragin' Cajuns welcome North Dakota State, UTRGV and UTSA for the return of their annual home tournament. Play begins at 9:00 a.m. on Friday (Sept. 2) as Louisiana meets NDSU in its 2022 home opener. For the complete tournament schedule visit the tournament central page [ragincajuns.com].
Louisiana is also celebrating Alumni Weekend during the event, giving the program's alumni an opportunity to view in person the stunning interior renovations which have transformed E. K. Long Gym into one of the premier volleyball-specific venues in the country.
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