MATCH 8: Arkansas State (3-4) at Central Arkansas (6-0)
Thursday, Sept. 7 • 7 p.m. CDT
Farris Center • Conway, Ark.
Series: A-State leads 23-1
Live Stats: UCASports.com; Live Video: Bear Nation Network ($)
MATCH 9: UCF (3-3) vs. Arkansas State (3-4)
Friday, Sept. 8 • 5:30 p.m. CDT
Farris Center • Conway, Ark.
Series: A-State leads 5-0
Live Stats: UCASports.com; Live Video: None
MATCH 10: Southern (0-3) vs. Arkansas State (3-4)
Saturday, Sept. 9 • 10:30 a.m. CDT
Farris Center • Conway, Ark.
Series: A-State leads 2-0
Live Stats: UCASports.com; Live Video: None
This season marks the 43rd year of volleyball at Arkansas State and A-State has an all-time mark of 1,007-511-5 (.663) and became the 18th program in Division I history to eclipse 1,000 victories. The Red Wolves began last season with 979 wins.
The Red Wolves hosted the A-State Invitational Sept. 1-2 and came away with a 1-2 record in the event with losses to Virginia Tech and SMU and a win against Ole Miss, the program’s first victory over an SEC opponent since 2009 and first under Coach Rehr.
Drew Jones was named to the A-State Invitational All-Tournament squad. She had a double-double in all three matches (all in kills and digs) and finished with 40 kills and 37 digs in the event, along with three aces, three blocks, and three assists.
Freshman libero Tatum Ticknor earned the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week award after leading the team with 79 digs for a 5.27 per set average last week. She had 54 in the tournament.
A-State vs. Central Arkansas Series History
The Red Wolves lead the all-time series with the Sugar Bears by a count of 23-1 after sweeping UCA in the A-State Invitational last season. Kenzie Fields led A-State with 13 kills and also had 10 digs for a double-double. She also had two aces and two blocks. Anna Murphy had 12 kills on a .364 hitting percentage, while Lindsay Cline led the team with 12 digs. Nicole Knight had a career-high service aces.
Arkansas State opened the series with 20 straight wins over Central Arkansas after the series began in 1975 and both teams played every year from 1975 through 1983. The two teams didn’t meet again until 2006 when Central Arkansas picked up its only win against Arkansas State in Conway by a score of 3-2. A-State returned the favor with a 3-0 victory in Jonesboro later in the season. A-State then swept the Sugar Bears 3-0 in 2011 in the last meeting before the two teams squared off last season.
A-State head coach David Rehr is 1-0 against Central Arkansas and is 6-0 against teams from the Southland Conference. As a program, Arkansas State is 110-43 all-time against schools currently in the Southland Conference. The bulk of those meetings are with former conference opponents Lamar (23-11) and New Orleans (32-15).
UCA enters their second home tournament in as many weeks with a perfect 6-0 record, including wins over Memphis, Little Rock, and Buffalo.
A-State vs. UCF Series History
Arkansas State and Central Florida have met five times in history with A-State claiming all five matches. All five matchups occurred in 1990 and 1991 when the Knights were members of the same conference as Arkansas State. The American South in 1990 and then the Sun Belt in 1991.
The Red Wolves swept UCF in the first meeting in 1990 in the American South Mini-Series II in Ruston, La., before sweeping the Knights again at the American South Mini-Series III in Edinburg, Texas.
The two teams met three times in 1991 with UCF coming to a tournament hosted by A-State in the first matchup, which Arkansas State won 3-1. A-State then claimed a 3-0 sweep in the UNO/Asics Crescent City Classic before defeating the Knights 3-0 in the first round of the SBC Tournament in Jonesboro.
UCF will mark the third team from the American Athletic Conference the Red Wolves have faced this season with a win over Cincinnati (3-1) and loss to SMU (3-0). The loss to the Mustangs dropped A-State to 49-45 against teams currently in the American with head coach David Rehr now holding a 5-3 record against the AAC. The majority of meetings with AAC schools are against Memphis with A-State holding a 28-29 record versus the Tigers.
UCF enters the weekend at 3-3 with wins over Northern Colorado, Florida Atlantic, and Florida Gulf Coast. The losses are to Duke, Colorado State, and Miami (FL).
A-State vs. Southern Series History
The Red Wolves are 2-0 against Southern all-time with the first meeting happening in the 1980 season with A-State winning 2-0 in the Mississippi State tournament. The last meeting was in 1999 with the Red Wolves winning 3-0 in Southern Mississippi’s Holiday Inn Classic.
A-State is 39-1 against schools currently in the Southwestern Athletic Conference with the most meetings coming against in-state opponent UAPB (22-0). The Red Wolves’ only loss to a SWAC school came in the 1982 Mississippi University for Women Invitational when Jackson State claimed a 2-1 decision. A-State has defeated JSU in the other six matches.
Head coach David Rehr is 2-0 against the SWAC with both wins coming over UAPB in 2013 and 2014. The 2013 matchup was in Jonesboro, while the 2014 meeting was at the SIUE Invitational in Edwardsville, Ill.
Southern enters the weekend with an 0-3 record after losing matches to SBC member UT Arlington, Houston, and McNeese State. The Lady Jaguars were scheduled to play McNeese in a midweek matchup before going to the Lamar Tournament, but all of them were cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey.
A-State Goes 1-2 at Home Tournament
A-State hosted Virginia Tech, SMU, and Ole Miss in this season’s version of the A-State Invitational and the Red Wolves lost to Virginia Tech 3-1 on Friday night before dropping a 3-0 decision to SMU Saturday morning. The team rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Ole Miss Saturday night.
In the loss to Virginia Tech, the Red Wolves fell to 9-20 all-time against ACC schools with Coach Rehr moving to 1-2 against them. A-State now leads the all-time series with the Hokies 2-1. Carlisa May led the team with 22 kills to give her three 20+ kill matches on the year, which is a new career high. Drew Jones was second on the team with 15 kills and had 10 digs for a double-double. Madison Turner registered her first career kill and block.
The 3-0 setback to SMU dropped A-State to 49-45 all-time against AAC schools and Coach Rehr to 5-3. A-State had also lost its only other previous meeting to the Mustangs. A-State only hit .099 in the match to mark the first time since Aug. 30, 2014 versus Auburn that the Red Wolves were held under a .100 hitting percentage, a span of 96 matches.
However, the Red Wolves bounced back with a solid win over Ole Miss 3-1 on Saturday night. Carlisa May led the team with 17 kills, while Drew Jones (11) and Jessica Uke (10) also registered double-digit kills. Tatum Ticknor led the team with 23 digs. The win over an SEC foe was the first in 10 tries for Coach Rehr and improved A-State to 21-36 against Ole Miss and 53-65 against teams in the SEC.
This is the second straight year and only the second time the Red Wolves have hosted a home tournament under head coach David Rehr. The Red Wolves went 2-1 in last season’s event with 3-0 wins over UCA and UT Martin and a 3-0 loss to Tulsa, who went undefeated in the tournament.
Records indicate that A-State’s first home non-conference tournament was in 1988 and has hosted 26 all-time with an all-time record of 78-12 in the events. The team had only posted a losing record in a home tournament once prior to this season in 2007 (1-2).
A-State’s Drew Jones was named to the All-Tournament team at the A-State Invitational after registering a double-double in each match, all in kills and digs.
She posted 40 kills and 37 digs overall with 15 kills and 10 digs against Virginia Tech, 14 kills and 14 digs versus SMU, and 11 kills and 13 digs in the win over Ole Miss.
The Fort Smith, Ark., native leads the team with five double-doubles this year to give her 13 for her career. As a team, A-State only had seven double-doubles in kills and digs last season.
For her efforts Jones was named to the A-State Invitational All-Tournament squad, her fourth career all-tournament nod.
Ticknor Earns SBC Defensive Player of the Week
Freshman libero Tatum Ticknor earned her first career weekly award Monday when she was named the SBC Defensive Player of the Week.
The Grapevine, Texas, native picked up 79 digs for a 5.27 per set average to take home the honor. She had 25 digs in the midweek win over SIU and had 23 more in the win over Ole Miss. She’s posted double-digit digs in all but one match this season, which was when she got nine against Kentucky when she didn’t start the match.
Ticknor leads the Sun Belt Conference with 131 total digs and a 5.46 digs per set mark. The total digs number is ranked 25th in the nation, while the digs per set ratio is 22nd.
Red Wolves Down SIU in Midweek Action
Arkansas State traveled to Carbondale, Ill., to take on the Salukis in a midweek battle Tuesday, Aug. 29 and came away with a 3-1 win.
The Red Wolves improved to 10-3 all-time against SIU with Coach Rehr improving to 2-0 against the team
Carlisa May led the way with a season-high 23 kills on a .294 hitting percentage. Drew Jones was second on the squad with 10 kills and added 11 digs for her second double-double of the season. Ellie Watkins tallied her first career double-double with 47 assists and 11 digs. Tatum Ticknor posted 25 digs for her third straight match of double-digit digs.
A-State Competes Well at Bluegrass Battle
The Red Wolves went 1-2 at the Bluegrass Battle, hosted by Kentucky Aug. 25-26 with a win over Cincinnati and losses to No. 14 Kentucky and No. 23 Utah.
A-State defeated Cincinnati 3-1 by scores of 25-19, 26-28, 25-21, 25-14. The Bearcats were a NCAA Tournament at-large selection last season. The team lost its other six sets to Kentucky and Utah, but three of the six were by just two points (25-23 first set to UK, 26-24 first set vs. Utah, and 25-23 second set vs. Utah).
Arkansas State fell to 0-3 all-time against Kentucky and 0-2 all-time against Utah. The win over Cincinnati was the first ever meeting between the two teams.
May Takes Home All-Tournament; SBC Honors
A-State’s Carlisa May was named to the All-Tournament team at the Bluegrass Battle after tallying 45 kills for a 4.50 per set average that leads the Sun Belt Conference. The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native also added 22 digs, six blocks, two assists, and one ace. The All-Tournament accolade was the sixth of her career.
Additionally, the junior outside hitter garnered SBC Offensive Player of the Week honors for her effort in week one. It’s the 11th weekly award in her career and fourth OPOW award.
May had 50 digs a season ago and already has 40 two weeks into the season. She’s got 114 total kills to rank first in the league and 18th in the country, while her 4.56 kills per set mark is first in the SBC and 22nd in the nation.
She has a season-best of 23 kills versus Southern Illinois and has three matches of 20+ kills a season ago, matching A-State’s total as a team and setting a new career high for her.
Watkins Named Setter of the Week
Junior Ellie Watkins picked up SBC Setter of the Week honors after her performance at the Bluegrass Battle in her first weekend at Arkansas State after transferring from Pittsburgh. She handed out 111 assists for an 11.10 per set average that leads the conference.
Additionally, the Weldon Spring, Mo., native posted 13 kills on a .520 hitting percentage, 18 digs, four blocks, and a team-high three service aces.
She’s up to 274 assists on the year to lead the Sun Belt Conference and her 10.96 per set average is 38th in the country.
What a Senior Class
Arkansas State lost five seniors off last season’s team in Markie Schaedig, Mallory Warrington, Kelsey Reis, Jessica Heuertz, and Shelby Holmes.
Schaedig and Warrington were both All-Americans a season ago, with Schaedig earning the school’s first All-American honor as a sophomore in 2014. Schaedig ended her career with the third most digs in school history (2,153). Warrington became the ninth member of the 1,000-1,000 Club with 4,296 career assists and 1,183 digs. The 4,296 assists were the third most in school history. Schaedig was a three-time SBC Defensive Player of the Year, while Warrington received the Setter of the Year award from the league twice.
Reis was no slouch as she was a back-to-back First-Team All-Conference performer and finished her career with 399 blocks, good for eighth most in school history. She is also responsible for the seventh-highest hitting percentage in school history of .302. Heuertz played in 121 matches in her career with 684 digs as a defensive specialist, while Holmes played in 65 with 246 kills.
A-State has eight newcomers on the squad.
Red Wolves Non-Conference Notes
A-State is 3-4 this year in non-conference action with wins against the AAC, SEC, and Missouri Valley. The losses came to the PAC-12, SEC, ACC, and AAC. A-State will play its third AAC opponent of the season Friday against UCF before playing its first match of the season against teams from the Southland and SWAC.
Arkansas State went 8-6 in non-conference last season with wins against teams from the ACC, Big 10, Summit League, Southland (2-0), Atlantic 10, Big West, and Ohio Valley.
The losses were to teams from the Big 12, SEC, American Athletic, Horizon League, Missouri Valley, and Conference USA.
The two wins over teams from “Power” leagues (North Carolina State and Indiana) are the most in a single season for A-State since 2000 when the Red Wolves defeated Marquette and LSU.
The Red Wolves are now 39-32 in non-conference action under head coach David Rehr.