LAFAYETTE — Paced by a Sun Belt play-best .330 hitting percentage Louisiana Volleyball cruised to a straight-sets sweep (25-17, 25-22, 25-13) of ULM in the first match of the team's regular season-ending, three-match homestand.
The Ragin' Cajuns (14-8, 9-5 Sun Belt) scored at least 13 kills in each set and hit above .250 each frame capped off by a blistering .407 showing in the third set that ushered the Warhawks (5-24, 1-13 Sun Belt) off the court.
With sizeable advantages of 41-28 in kills, 39-24 in assists, 53-41 in digs, and 7-1 in blocks, Louisiana comfortably put way ULM to remain undefeated (8-0) vs. Sun Belt West Division teams. The win also moves the Ragin' Cajuns one step closer to the No. 2 seed from the SBC West which guarantees a bye from the first round of the conference tournament (one win or one UTA loss away from clinching).
The outside hitter tandem of Kelsey Bennett and Coco Gillett went back-to-back for kills twice early in the opening set allowing the Ragin' Cajuns to break away from a 5-all tie and create separation at 9-6.
Louisiana's efficiency was at a high level from the first serve and was sitting at .480 when the squad distanced itself from ULM at 20-11 late in the opening stanza.
The Ragin' Cajuns were forced to stage a comeback in the second set to remain on course for the sweep. The Warhawks reeled off five consecutive points to pull ahead 15-12 at the media timeout.
A ULM miscue out of the timeout put the ball in the hands of Bennett who served up five straight winners, which included a pair of aces, to finish off a 6-0 run that gave Louisiana the lead for good.
Chinelo Ogogor furnished three key kills in the waning moments to keep the Warhawks at bay, twice landing a score to create a four-point advantage for the Ragin' Cajuns at 23-19 and 24-20.
Bennett collected a side out for Louisiana on the opening serve of the third set, then served up back-to-back winners as the Ragin' Cajuns quickly gained a 3-0 advantage they never lost.
Emery Judkins led the way down the stretch for the Ragin' Cajuns with her kill at 15-8 being the first of four she posted over a stretch where the hosts extended the lead to the point of doubling up the visitors at 22-11.
Louisiana claimed victory over ULM for the eighth consecutive meeting and extended its lead in Sun Belt matches against its in-state foe to 29-5.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Judkins led a trio of Ragin' Cajuns who reached double digits in kills with 12 on a .600 hitting percentage. Her Sun Belt play season-best production came on only 20 swings and without error.
Bennett and Gillett each posted 10 kills and both hit .250-plus. They also each served up a team-leading three aces, leading Louisiana to nine aces in the match marking the most since Oct. 17 (11 at Coastal Carolina).
Ogogor netted six kills off of her 11 swings and led a group of five players with multiple blocks by getting a hand in on three stuffs (1 BS, 2 BA).
Siena DeCambra ran the 5-1 attack for Louisiana and collected a double-double of 29 assists and season-high 19 digs, her 11th double-double of the season. She added two blocks to her stat line.
DeCambra's dig total was also the match-high figure amongst all players. Bennett and Jordan Valley joined her in double figures with 11 digs each, the tallying providing Bennett with her team-leading 14th double-double.
Louisiana concludes its regular season-ending, three-match homestand from Friday-Saturday, Nov. 12-13 when UT Arlington and Texas State visit Earl K. Long Gym.
The Ragin' Cajuns will celebrate Senior Night prior to the matchup with the Mavericks on Friday (Nov. 12), then face the Bobcats in the regular-season finale on Saturday (Nov. 13).
Both matches are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., with a live broadcast available on ESPN+.
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