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Volleyball: Fast and Efficient Start Propels Louisiana to Victory in Start of Georgia Trip
STATESBORO, Ga. – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball used a dominant start, hitting above .340 each of the first two sets, to take command of Friday's matchup with Georgia Southern at Hanner Fieldhouse leading the squad to a 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 18-25, 25-19) victory.
The sparkplugs of the Ragin' Cajuns offensive efforts were Hali Wisnoskie and Dree'Ana Abram who together combined for 33 kills.
Louisiana (6-14, 2-5 Sun Belt) wasted little time setting the tone, rolling out to a 7-1 lead in the first set. The Ragin' Cajuns later sealed the opening-set triumph when back-to-back Kelsey Bennett aces and a Wisnoskie kill extended the margin to 22-12.
The second set started with the lead changing hands four times until Abram took over with three straight kills that broke a tie and pushed Louisiana ahead 14-11. The final blow came off the hands of Abram as well, as she scored consecutive kills after the Eagles had trimmed the lead to 22-20.
Georgia Southern (6-13, 1-7 Sun Belt) was able to extend the match after an 8-1 run broke open a 6-all contest and created breathing room for the hosts which stood the remainder of the third set.
Wisnoskie took charge of the fourth set by landing five of her eight kills in the frame early on leading the Ragin' Cajuns to a 12-8 lead. After an Eagles service error returned the lead to Louisiana at 15-14, an ace from Bennett immediately followed keeping the visitors one step ahead the rest of the way.
Fittingly the match was closed out by a kill from Abram which brought the Ragin' Cajuns to match point, and then a block which she combined with Bennett for that clinched the final tally.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Wisnoskie wound up with match-high honors of 17 kills. Abram recorded 16 kills on just 33 swings and finished with a .394 hitting percentage – the fifth time in SBC play she's had double digits in kills with a .300-plus percentage.
Bennett served up a career-high four aces, the highlight of her performance which also included nine kills off a .304 hitting percentage and 10 digs.
Darby O'Grady recorded her career-high in kills with nine and Elise Baranco chipped in five kills.
Hannah Ramirez collected 14 digs and Milayne Danna picked up 13 digs to lead the Ragin' Cajuns back row efforts.
Avery Breaux handed out 45 assists in guiding Louisiana to 57 kills and its SBC-play best .257 hitting percentage. It was the third time she's recorded 40-plus assists in conference play.
Following a day off on Saturday, Louisiana closes out its current four-match road trip and faces a Sun Belt East foe for the final time when the squad meets Georgia State on Sunday in Atlanta. First serve from the GSU Sports Arena is set for 11 a.m. (CDT).
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