LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (11/11/16) – The Arkansas State volleyball team clinched the top seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-11, 25-21) victory over Little Rock Friday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.
The Red Wolves clinch the top seed in the Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Tournament with a 15-1 mark. Coastal Carolina, the East Division champion can also get to 15-1, but A-State holds the tiebreaker over the Chanticleers because of the 3-2 win in Conway, S.C., back on Sept. 25.
Mallory Warrington handed out 50 assists to lead the Red Wolves and registered her team-best 14th double-double with a career-high 23 digs. Kenzie Fields led the team with 15 kills, while Kelsey Reis (14) and Carlisa May (12) also recorded double-digit kills with Reis accomplishing hers on a team-high .571 hitting percentage. Markie Schaedig tied for the team lead in digs with 23 and Fields tallied four blocks defensively.
“I’m glad we finished the regular season on a high note and have accomplished one of our goals,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “However, we can’t celebrate this one too long because we have to get ready for the next portion of our season.”
The two teams battled to a 9-9 tie in set one, but A-State used a 6-1 run, capped by a kill from May to create some distance. The Red Wolves went in front 22-15 on a Reis kill and forced a timeout by the Trojans. Little Rock got as close as 24-20, but a service error by the home team gave A-State a 25-20 set win.
Set two was close throughout with the teams battling to an 18-18 tie before a 3-0 run by Little Rock put the score at 21-18. However, A-State used a 3-0 run of its own, capped by a Fields kill, to tie the set at 21-21. However, the Trojans won four of the next six points to take game two 25-23 and send the match to intermission tied 1-1.
A-State came out firing on all cylinders in set three by racing out to a 12-3 advantage on a kill by May. The Red Wolves extended the lead to 19-8 on a service ace by Lindsay Cline and saw the Trojans take their final timeout of the set. The stoppage didn’t slow A-State down as the visitors went on a 6-3 run, capped by a kill from Fields, to clinch the set by a score of 25-11.
The fourth set began well for the Red Wolves also as Jessica Heuertz gave the team a 5-2 edge on a service ace that forced a timeout by Little Rock. Drew Jones gave A-State a 12-5 lead later in the set and the Trojans used their final timeout. The home team was able to battle back within two points on a couple of occasions, but a kill by Shelby Holmes put A-State in front 22-16 late. Little Rock clawed within three at 24-21, but another kill by Holmes dashed any dreams of a Trojans’ comeback to seal the game win for A-State 25-21 and the match 3-1.
The Red Wolves will play next on Nov. 18 in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The finalized bracket will be sent out Sunday afternoon.Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball) and Instagram (astatevolleyball) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.