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Louisiana volleyball splits Sun Belt Conference opening matches


Head Coach Hearher Mazeitis-Fontenot coaching the team as the Ragin' Cajuns take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019.

Over the weekend, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team competed in their first set of Sun Belt Conference matches of the season. They headed to Texas for two matches and ended the weekend with a split.

The first match was against Texas State. Earlier in the season, senior middle blocker Dree’Ana Abram expressed her excitement about the Texas State match.

“Texas State is the game I’m most excited for,” Abram said.

Unfortunately, Louisiana lost to Texas State 1-3. The main contributing factor to the loss was Louisiana’s lack of defense to go against Texas State’s strong offense.

Texas State dished out 63 kills with a .237 hitting percentage, compared to Louisiana’s 42 kills on a .130 hitting percentage. Texas State also had a strong defense with 97 digs that helped boost their offense.

The first set seemed like it could go either way. Louisiana and Texas State were tied at 19 until Texas State delivered four kills in a row, helping them win the set.

However, the Ragin’ Cajuns did not give up. They fought back and won the second set 25-21, but from there their momentum was put to a halt. Texas State won the following sets 25-13 and 25-20 to win the match.

Standout players for the match were junior outside hitter Hali Wisnoskie, senior middle blocker Dree’Ana Abram, junior libero and defensive specialist Hannah Ramirez and junior setter Avery Breaux. Wisnoskie led Louisiana in kills for the third straight match with 12. Abram added 10 for another double-digit kill contributor, as well as four blocks.

Breaux gained a career-high amount of assists for the team with 35. Defensively, Ramirez collected 23 digs.

After the loss, Louisiana prepared for their next game. They came back in full force against UT Arlington, winning the match 3-1.

Louisiana had both a strong offense and defense, and the balance between the two was the key factor for the win.

On the offensive side, the team produced over 13 kills per set. Defensively, two blocks per set and 19 digs per set aided as well.

The Ragin’ Cajuns won all sets except the second, but the fourth set win was the most impressive. They started out with a 10-3 lead finishing the frame with 16 kills and a .240 hitting percentage.

Leading Louisiana again were Abram and Wisnoskie. Wisnoskie finished with 12 kills once again, as well as five blocks. Abram led the whole team with 16 kills and three blocks.

Another strong player was sophomore outside hitter, Kelsey Bennett. She had eight kills, two aces and 17 digs that helped the Ragin’ Cajuns all around.

This was Louisiana’s first SBC win and away win of the season. The Ragin’ Cajuns now have a 5-10 overall record and 1-1 SBC record with a one-game win streak.

Up next, they will play Appalachian State Friday, Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at home. The game will be broadcasted on CST and ESPN Plus. Following the Friday game, Louisiana will play Coastal Carolina Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m at home as well.

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