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Louisiana recovers from loss, sweeps Sawyer Camillo Classic Tournament


Junior Hannah Ramirez digs the ball as the Ragin' Cajuns take on the McNeese Cowgirls on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team competed in the Sawyer Camillo Classic Tournament and won the game in a 3-0 sweep.

This was a great turnaround from their first tournament of the season, which resulted in a 0-3 loss. Now, Louisiana is tied 3-3 wins versus losses.

The first match of the tournament was a hard-fought 3-2 win against McNeese. Despite a few communication errors, the defensive play was strong throughout the match. Louisiana barely lost the first set 25-23 and barely won the second set 27-25.

After losing the third set, they came back even stronger on offense in the fourth, forcing an 8-0 lead and a final fifth set. In the fifth set, Louisiana knew it was sink or swim, and they delivered, winning the set 15-9 to secure the win.

Freshman outside and right side hitter Celeste Darling had a season-high 16 kills in the McNeese matchup. Other hitters, senior Dree’Ana Abram, sophomore Kelsey Bennett and sophomore Desiree Johnson all had double digits in kills as well.

Sophomore middle blocker Tia Jade Smith had five blocks, a team-best and crucial aid in the last set.

Following the afternoon matchup, Louisiana played Eastern Michigan. Louisiana won the match 3-0, strong from start to finish. A key moment was a 7-0 lead from a service run by Darling.

Junior outside hitter Hali Wisnoskie led with nine kills for the Eastern Michigan match. Defensively, junior defensive specialist and libero Hannah Ramirez produced a season-best and match-high 21 digs.

In both matches, the Cajuns hit above .200 percent and reached at least 14 kills per set. On the defensive end, they reached 18 digs per set for the day.

Wisnoskie expressed how proud she was of the team following the two wins:

“I think we played really well as a team today and brought tons of energy to the court, which was good to see,” Wisnoskie said.

This match was a momentum push into the next day of gameplay.

On Sunday, the Cajuns played Florida A&M, winning 3-1. Once again, the drive came from a heavy offense from Louisiana. They won the first set 25-19, the second 25-4, the third 25-23 and the last 25-13.

Louisiana hit .257 percent with 54 kills. Darling once again showed her skills, earning 17 kills on 28 swings. Along with receiving the championship with her team, she was also awarded the MVP of the tournament.

Fellow teammates Dree’Ana Abram and Hannah Ramirez made the all-tournament team at the tournament. This was a first-time feat for Abram.

Up next, Louisiana will play Southern Miss at Earl K. Long Gym on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. This will be the last home match of September for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who won’t see E.K. Long Gym until Oct. 4.

Following this single match, the Ragin’ Cajuns will head to Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Invitation Tournament. They will play Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m., Georgia Tech at 5 p.m. the same day and Oklahoma on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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