JONESBORO, Ark. (11/20/19) – Another regular season is in the books, which means it’s tournament time for the Arkansas State volleyball team.
The Red Wolves (16-12, 7-9) face Louisiana for the third time in 2019 and for the second time in a week on Thursday evening to open up the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Tournament, held in San Marcos, Texas, at Strahan Arena.
A-State is the No. 8 seed in the tourney while the Ragin’ Cajuns enter as the No. 5 seed. Friday’s match is slated for a 5 p.m. CT start and will be streamed live on ESPN+ with Brant Freeman (play-by-play) and Mick Haley (analyst) on the call throughout the tournament.
The winner of Thursday’s match advances to the Sun Belt quarterfinals, where it will face fourth-seeded Troy at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Dates: Nov. 21-24
Location: Strahan Arena (10,000) – San Marcos, Texas
Series History vs. Louisiana
Record vs. Louisiana: 49-18
Last Meeting: L, 1-3 (11/15/2019 – Jonesboro, Ark.)
Streak: Louisiana, 3
Restrepo vs. Louisiana: 1-3
- - This season is the 45th year of volleyball at Arkansas State, owning an all-time mark of 1,060-545-5 (.660).
- - Timber Terrell earned second team All-Sun Belt Conference honors on Tuesday.
- - A win against Louisiana will mark the seventh year in a row the Red Wolves won at least one match in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Arkansas State has reached the semifinals in each of the last seven conference tournaments, appearing in the title match twice (2015, 2016).
- - A-State is 39-1 since the 2017 season when taking the first two sets.
- - Under first-year head coaches, the Red Wolves are 151-108 overall.
- - A-State has allowed the fewest service aces in the Sun Belt, just 103 through 106 sets played - 11 fewer than the No. 2 spot (Texas State, 114). The Red Wolves give up less than one ace per set and are the only team in the league to average under an ace allowed per set.
- - The Scarlet and Black is the only team in the conference with three players who hold 70 or more blocks this season, and four with 50 or more.
- - The Red Wolves own the second-lowest hitting percentage defense in the Sun Belt Conference, holding foes to a .175 clip. That mark ranks inside the top 50 nationally (as of 11/19).
- - In 2019, A-State has tallied 37 total double-double performances. In 2018, the Red Wolves only totaled 33 as a squad. A-State’s 2019 pace is the best by a Red Wolves team since before 2010.
- - Arkansas State is guaranteed to finish the 2019 season with a winning record, marking the sixth year in a row and 11th time in the last 12 years.
Know the Foe: Louisiana
- - Louisiana enters the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Tournament as one of the league’s hottest teams. The Ragin’ Cajuns are winners of seven straight matches to end the regular season and earned the No. 5 seed after finishing second in the West Division.
- - Three Cajuns earned postseason Sun Belt honors, with Hali Wisnoskie and Avery Breaux earning All-SBC laurels and Hannah Ramirez being named the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Wisnoskie leads the team in kills (340) while Breaux is the team’s top setter with 886 assists. Ramirez anchored down the libero spot for the Ragin’ Cajuns, collected 468 digs on the year.
- - Louisiana claimed both meetings during the regular season, sweeping the match in Lafayette before taking a four-setter against the Red Wolves in Jonesboro less than a week ago during the final weekend of the season. While the Ragin’ Cajuns have won the last three matches in the series, A-State owns a 49-18 all-time lead in the series.
ComebackSZN For Timber
- - After an injury-shortened sophomore season that garnered a medical hardship, redshirt sophomore Timber Terrell has put together an impressive comeback season that included a positional switch, leading to All-Sun Belt Conference honors.
- - Since moving to the right side from middle blocker, Terrell has been a stout presence offensively and defensively for A-State, ranking second on the team in kills (270) and third in blocks (72), while leading in attack percentage (.255) of all players with 200 kills or more.
Welcome to the (Block) Party
- - In 2019, the Red Wolves have amassed 218.0 blocks and 2.06 blocks per set, both which ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference entering Friday night’s match. A-State also ranks third in the league in solo blocks (73) and sixth in block assists (290).
- - A-State’s total is the most since the 2015 team tallied 221.0 blocks as a team through 28 matches. That team was 27-1 over that stretch and claimed the Sun Belt Conference championship.
- - Entering the conference tourney, Arkansas State is the only team in the league with three players owning 70 or more blocks on the season.
- - In 2019, Arkansas State players have totaled 37 double-doubles, led by Malgorzata Andersohn’s 11, nine from Macey Putt and eight from Peyton Uhlenhake. That team total is the most since before 2010.
- - Julianna Cramer has accounted for seven while Hannah Cox and Paulina Sobolewska each have one.
- - In 2018, the Red Wolves totaled 33, with Macey Putt tied for second on the team with 8.
“My Friends Called Me ‘Ace’.”
- - A-State has been solid behind the service line in 2019, totaling 144 service aces, which ranks seventh in the league.
- - Over the same time span, the 2011 squad set the tone by firing 168 through 28 matches.
- - For comparison, the Red Wolves served 144 aces through 28 matches in 2018.
- - Defensively, A-State has only allowed 104 aces, which ranks first in the league. The second-fewest aces given up is 114 by Texas State. The Red Wolves are the only team in the conference allowing less than an ace per set.
Can Ya Dig It?
- - In 2019, the Red Wolves have collected 1,670 digs as a team, the most since the 2014 team tallied 1,870 through 28 matches.
- - Arkansas State is the only team in the Sun Belt Conference with more than four players with 200 or more digs on the season (5). Four teams (Louisiana, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy) each have four.
First Set Is Key … Second Set Also Helps
- - Winning the first set is always a great start to a Red Wolves’ victory. In 2018, A-State was nearly unbeatable after taking the first set, going 16-3.
- - Over the past two-plus seasons, the Red Wolves are 45-9 when going up 1-0 in the match.
- - If you extend that trend into the second set, A-State was 14-0 when it took the first two sets in 2018, and 39-1 dating back to 2017.
- - This season, the Red Wolves are 10-1 when taking leads of 1-0 and 2-0.
Defense! (Clap Clap) Defense! (Clap Clap)
- - Defense has been a staple of Arkansas State’s success in recent years. In 2018, the Red Wolves were 8-2 when holding opponents to a hitting percentage of under .200.
- - This year, A-State held 11 of its first 12 opponents to hitting percentages of below .200 to open the year (the one team being nationally-ranked Rice, who hit .226). As of Nov. 13, the Red Wolves own the No. 2 opposing attack percentage in the Sun Belt Conference, holding foes to a mark of just .175, which ranks 49th nationally.
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.