JONESBORO, Ark. (9/12/19) – Belief.
That, along with spectacular defensive play, helped the Arkansas State volleyball team open up the 2019 home slate in victorious fashion, ousting previously undefeated Stephen F. Austin 3-1 on Thursday night at First National Bank Arena.
For the second straight outing, the Red Wolves (5-2) fought back from a set down to come out on top, winning three straight 25-21 sets to oust the high-powered Ladyjacks (7-1).
“Coming into the match, we talked about winning the serve-and-pass battle and that we had to protect our home,” head coach Santiago Restrepo said. The only way to protect our home is playing defense and I thought our defense was superb. (Down a set), they just believed. They had belief and confidence in each other that they could come back.”
Set 1 – SFA 27-25
The Ladyjacks claimed an early 1-0 lead in the match when they took an exciting, back-and-forth opening frame, 27-25.
Set 2 – A-State 25-21
A-State bounced back to take the early momentum in the second set on an attack error by Ariana Pagan. The Red Wolves would hold off multiple attempts to tie up the match by the Ladyjacks, who came within one at 20-19 on a 5-2 run. However, a pair of kills by Timber Terrell squashed the effort, forcing an SFA timeout with the Red Wolves two points away from knotting up the score at 1-all.
Corin Evans would notch a pair of kills, however Terrell and Madison Brown fired back to end the set with kills of their own.
Set 3 – A-State 25-21
SFA took early control in the third set, maintaining a slim lead through the first half of the set, although the Red Wolves stayed within striking distance, which proved costly to the visitors after a few miscues.
Back-to-back kills by Peyton Uhlenhake knotted up the score at 16-all as part of a 7-2 run that gave the Red Wolves the lead for good. A-State went on to win seven of the last 10 points to claim the set.
Set 4 – A-State 25-21
While A-State went ahead early, SFA rallied to take as much as a five-point lead at 16-11. A 5-0 run highlighted by a pair of Terrell kills pulled the Red Wolves within reach. Both sides traded points until A-State won six of the last seven points to seal the deal, claiming the final set at 25-21. A kill by Uhlenhake closed out the match.
The Red Wolves continue the A-State Invitational on Friday, hosting Rice at 6:30 p.m. The unbeaten Owls (7-0) play Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 10 a.m. before UAPB takes on SFA at 4 p.m.
Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.