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Volleyball: Louisiana Stands Strong to Complete Weekend Sweep in Georgia
ATLANTA – A strong and determined effort allowed Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball to collect a straight sets sweep of Georgia State on Sunday at the GSU Sports Arena, completing a perfect weekend trip through Georgia.
The Ragin' Cajuns (7-14, 3-5 Sun Belt) battled through 27 total ties, grinding through 17 alone in the first set, and 11 lead changes throughout the afternoon in posting the 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 27-25) win. The team's grit was on full display in the third set after rallying from three-point plus deficits twice.
Louisiana's offense flowed smoothly once again behind the swings of Hali Wisnoskie and Dree'Ana Abram who combined for 28 kills. The team's .279 match hitting percentage also helped fend off the Panthers (7-12, 3-5 Sun Belt).
Continuing the weekend theme of fast starts, as compared to the previous week's trip, the Ragin' Cajuns hit .300-plus in each of the first two sets to grab a commanding lead.
In a tightly contested opening set neither team led by more than two points. It was a 17-16 advantage in kills that would give the Ragin' Cajuns the decisive edge.
Louisiana erased GSU's final two-point edge in the opening frame after successive kills from Celeste Darling, Abram and Kelsey Bennett gave the visitors a 21-20 lead. Trailing 23-22 it was Bennett who kept GSU from set point and the Ragin' Cajuns claimed the last two rallies.
Back-to-back Wisnoskie kills snapped a 3-all tie early in the second set and a .400 hitting percentage kept Louisiana one step ahead the rest of the way.
The Ragin' Cajuns fought back in the third set to avoid being denied the sweep. Trailing 16-12, Wisnoskie jumpstarted a 5-0 run with a kill and Avery Breaux finished it off with back-to-back aces. The Panthers later answered with a five-point spurt of their own and vaulted ahead 22-19.
Louisiana battled back to a 23-all tie and fought off set point twice. In a perfect ending to a dominant weekend for Wisnoskie she fired off a kill to even the score at 25-all and ended the match two rallies later with another kill.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Wisnoskie collected match-high honors a second straight outing, landing 16 kills on only 32 swings without error (.500 percentage). She finished the weekend with 33 kills on a .368 percentage and exited the weekend with back-to-back matches of double figures since SBC opening weekend (Sept. 27-28).
Abram was equally as efficient, scoring 12 kills off 22 swings. Her .455 percentage marked the sixth time in eight SBC matches she's had double digits in kills on a .300-plus percentage.
Tia Jade Smith posted five blocks (0 BS, 5 BA) to lead Louisiana to a 7.0-6.0 edge over GSU. Abram added two blocks solos.
Breaux tallied three service aces with the latter two key in the Ragin' Cajuns third-set rally. The junior setter posted a double-double of 39 assists and 11 digs.
Hannah Ramirez totaled a team-best 12 digs in leading a group effort that featured five players surpassing five digs.
Louisiana returns home to Earl K. Long Gym to begin a four-match homestand which keeps the squad at the friendly confines through the first weekend in November.
The Ragin' Cajuns begin the homestand Friday-Saturday, Oct. 25-26 hosting the Sun Belt's Arkansas schools in a pair of 6:30 p.m. matches, starting with Little Rock on Friday followed by Arkansas State on Saturday.
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