MATCH 29: Arkansas State (18-10, 11-4) at Little Rock (9-18, 5-11)
Friday, Nov. 10 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
Jack Stephens Center • Little Rock, Ark.
Series: A-State leads 55-23
Live Stats: AStateStats.com; Live Video: www.LRTrojans.com ($)
This season marks the 43rd year of volleyball at Arkansas State and A-State has an all-time mark of 1,022-517-5 (.664) and became the 18th program in Division I history to eclipse 1,000 victories. The Red Wolves began last season with 979 wins.
A-State is coming off a 1-1 weekend in Texas with a 3-0 loss to Texas State Nov. 3 before a bounce-back win over UT Arlington 3-1 Nov. 4. The Red Wolves are now 18-10 and 11-4 in league play, good for third in the West Division.
Arkansas State was swept by the Bobcats for the second time this season, marking the first time since 2014 a conference opponent has swept A-State twice in the same season with Little Rock being the last team.
The Red Wolves held the Mavericks to an .086 hitting percentage in the win Nov. 4 to become the fourth time A-State has held an opponent below .100 this year.
A-State had less digs that both Texas State and UTA in both matches, but out blocked both teams. The loss to the Bobcats made the team 14-3 this year when out blocking an opponent.
The Red Wolves didn’t have a service ace in the loss to Texas State, but bounced back with eight against UTA, tied for the fourth most in a match this season.
Drew Jones became the second A-State player this season to record the 1,000th kill of her career when she accomplished the feat on Oct. 20 at Troy. Carlisa May was the other, who did it on Sept. 22.
Madison Turner picked up the first digs of her career and the first ace of her career in the win over UTA. She also had four kills in three sets and is hitting .455 in limited action.
A-State vs. Little Rock Series History
The Red Wolves lead the all-time series with the Trojans by a count of 55-23 with the first three meetings occurring during the 1975 season and A-State winning all three meetings. The first meeting was in Little Rock with the next two occurring at neutral sites. A-State won the first two meetings 2-1 before a 2-0 sweep in the third.
A-State began the series with 14 straight wins from 1975-1983, but Little Rock won four straight meetings in the 1985 and 1986 seasons.
The Red Wolves won 13 straight meetings from 1988-1995, but since the beginning of the 1996 campaign, the series has been much more competitive with Arkansas State holding a 28-19 advantage during that time frame.
A-State head coach David Rehr is now 9-5 against Little Rock all-time after the Red Wolves have claimed six straight matches against the Trojans.
Arkansas State won the first meeting this season on Oct. 9 in Jonesboro, which was the Red Wolves’ “Pink Match” that saw the team don pink uniforms in the 3-1 victory. Drew Jones posted 18 kills to lead the team in the match and had 10 digs for a double-double, while Carlisa May added 15 kills. Jessica Uke was just shy of double-digits with nine kills. Ellie Watkins handed out 41 assists after subbing in for Sheridan Webb, who dished out 10 before leaving with an injury. Kenzie Fields tied a career high with 22 digs, while Tatum Ticknor picked up 18. A-State out blocked the Trojans 10-7 despite Little Rock entering the match second in the league in blocks. Marina Avram led the Trojans with 14 kills, while Mya Robinson had 12 kills and 17 digs for a double-double.
Little Rock enters the match with a 9-18 record and 5-11 mark in league play to rank fifth in the West Division. They are 2-2 over their last four with wins over Georgia State and Georgia Southern and losses to UT Arlington and Texas State. The Trojans have been eliminated from SBC Tournament contention.
A-State Loses to TXST, Bounces Back at UTA
A-State saw its seven-match win streak snapped by Texas State Nov. 3 with a sweep at the hands of the Bobcats, but bounced back to defeat UT Arlington 3-1 Nov. 4 and is now 18-10 on the year with an 11-4 mark in SBC play.
The loss to the Bobcats was the second time A-State has been swept by Texas State this season, marking the first time since 2014 that the Red Wolves were swept in both matches by a SBC opponent (Little Rock). Arkansas State only hit .161 in the match, which is it’s fourth lowest percentage in a Sun Belt match this season and allowed a .293 percentage to Texas State, which is the third highest of the season for an opponent against A-State and the highest for a SBC team against the Red Wolves.
Carlisa May led the Red Wolves with 10 kills against the Bobcats and Drew Jones added eight. Tatum Ticknor led the team with 16 digs and Jessica Uke had four blocks. Madison Daigle (13), Megan Porter (11), and Amy Pflughaupt (11) were all in double-digit kills for Texas State.
A-State continued the Texas road swing with a 3-1 victory at UT Arlington Nov. 4. Carlisa May led the team with 17 kills to give her 15 matches of 15+ kills this season. Drew Jones was also in double digits with 11 kills and had a pair of aces in the match along with three blocks, all solos. A-State only hit .197 in the match, but held the Mavericks to a .086 hitting percentage, making it the fourth time this season the team has held an opponent under .100. Tatum Ticknor led the team with 16 digs, while Lindsay Cline tied a career high with three service aces as the Red Wolves totaled eight as a team. UTA was led by Qiana Canete’s double-double of 16 kills and 10 digs, while Zhanelle Geathers added 12 kills.
Red Wolves Sweep Away Georgia Schools
Arkansas State ran its win streak to seven matches, all over conference foes, and improved to 17-9 on the year and 10-3 in SBC play with a pair of sweeps over Georgia State Oct. 27 and Georgia Southern Oct. 28 at First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves used aces and defense to carry themselves to a 3-0 win over Georgia State. A-State had nine service aces, tied for the second most this season and the most versus a league opponent, and held the Panthers to an .063 hitting percentage, the second lowest by an Arkansas State foe this season. A-State hit .295 and was led by 13 kills from Drew Jones with Carlisa May contributing nine. Tatum Ticknor and Kenzie Fields both had 10 digs to lead the team while Timber Terrell recorded four blocks, three of which were solo blocks. Ticknor and Lindsay Cline led the serving attack with three apiece, career highs for both.
The Red Wolves are now 10-0 all-time against Georgia State with the last four wins being sweeps.
The Red Wolves used a bit of a different strategy against Georgia Southern as the team hit an astounding .464 in the match, while holding the Eagles to a .205 mark. The .464 represents the highest any team has hit in the David Rehr era and it’s the highest mark since Sept. 16, 2011 when A-State hit .654 against Alcorn State. Carlisa May led the attack with 21 kills on a season-best .562 hitting percentage, while Ellie Watkins was a perfect 7-for-7 on attacks. Watkins also dished out 40 assists to help the team achieve the .464 attacking percentage. Tatum Ticknor led the team with 13 digs and also had two of the squad’s five aces.
A-State is now 7-1 all-time against the Eagles with the last four wins all being sweeps.
May, Watkins Take Home SBC Weekly Awards
Junior outside hitter Carlisa May won her second consecutive SBC Offensive Player of the Week award and fourth of the season, while junior Ellie Watkins claimed SBC Setter of the Week honors for the second time this season after the other came in week one.
A native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., May posted 30 kills for a 5.00 per set average on a .400 hitting percentage in the wins over Georgia State and Georgia Southern. She tallied nine kills over the Panthers, but notched 21 against the Eagles, her sixth 20+ kill match of the season, on a season-best .562 hit percentage. This award was May’s seventh career SBC Offensive Player of the Week award and her 14th career weekly award overall after winning seven SBC Freshman of the Week accolades in 2015.
Additionally, May was nominated by HERO Sports for its Division I Volleyball Player of the Week for the second straight time and won it for the second straight week after winning the fan vote.
A native of Weldon Spring, Mo., Watkins earned the league’s Setter of the Week honor after handing out 69 assists for an 11.50 per set mark in the sweeps over Georgia State and Georgia Southern. She dished out 29 helpers versus the Panthers and followed with 40 in the match with the Eagles. She helped the team to a season-best .464 hitting percentage against Georgia Southern and also had seven kills on seven attempts in the match. Overall, she had 10 kills, 10 digs, and two blocks in the two matches.
The Red Wolves have won at least one of the Sun Belt weekly awards in seven of 11 weeks this season and have had at least one weekly award winner 27 times out of 35 chances since the beginning of the 2015 season. Over that time span, Arkansas State players have claimed 45 separate individual weekly honors.
A-State Sweeps Troy, Hands USA First SBC Loss
Arkansas State extended its win streak to five matches with a sweep of Troy and 3-1 victory against South Alabama Oct. 20 and Oct. 22. A-State out hit the Trojans .302-.157 and had six aces, while Troy had zero in the win Oct. 20. Carlisa May led the team by tying a season-high with 24 kills, her fifth match of 20 or more kills this season and the ninth of her career. Drew Jones was second on the team with 15 kills and registered the 1,000th kill of her career with her 11th kill of the match against Troy. Ellie Watkins handed out 42 assists and Tatum Ticknor tied a career high with two aces. Arkansas State is now 16-1 all-time against Troy.
The Red Wolves then made the trip to Mobile, Ala., to face South Alabama and defeated the Jaguars 3-1. The loss was the first SBC loss for USA as their league record went to 9-1. This was the second straight Sunday the Red Wolves have knocked off an undefeated team in conference play after handing Louisiana its first league loss on Oct. 15 by a score of 3-1 in Jonesboro.
Carlisa May led the team with 19 kills against the Jags, while Timber Terrell registered 12 kills on a .529 hitting percentage and Jessica Uke added 10 on a .471 percentage. Ellie Watkins handed out 48 assists in the win, while Tatum Ticknor picked up 16 digs. Terrell and Uke both led the team with five blocks with all of Uke’s coming in the first set. Four of her blocks were block solos. The win for the Red Wolves increased their winning streak to six matches over the Jaguars and to 30-5 all-time against South Alabama.
Jones Joins 1,000 Kill Club; May Enters Top 10
Senior Drew Jones became the second player this year to eclipse 1,000 career kills at Arkansas State with her 11th kill of the match at Troy Oct. 20. Jones is second on the team with 335 kills and a 3.35 per set mark. The Forth Smith, Ark., native now has 1,054 kills to her credit.
Carlisa May was the other player to achieve 1,000 career kills earlier this season and now has 1,218 for her career, which gives her the 10th most in school history, passing Pip Soulsby, who had 1,144 for her career from 2002-05. She’s 48 away from Susanne Snipes, who had 1,266 from 1997-2000.
May Named SBC Offensive Player of the Week
Junior outside hitter Carlisa May was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week for week nine after totaling 43 kills for a 6.14 per set average on a .287 hitting percentage in A-State’s wins over Troy and South Alabama.
The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native tied a season high with 24 kills in the sweep of the Trojans on a .364 hitting percentage before adding 19 more in the 3-1 victory over South Alabama on a .209 hitting percentage.
This is May’s third SBC Offensive Player of the Week award this season and the sixth of her career. Additionally, it’s her 13th career weekly award after winning seven Freshman of the Week awards in 2015.
Additionally, May was named the Division I Volleyball HERO of the Week by HERO Sports after she won the fan vote.
Watkins, Ticknor Top SBC Leaderboard
Setter Ellie Watkins leads the Sun Belt Conference with an 11.01 assists per set average and is one of only two setters in the SBC averaging double-digit assists in the league. She had a season-high 60 on Sept. 30 at Louisiana.
Freshman libero Tatum Ticknor is first in the Sun Belt Conference in digs per set with a 4.95 per set average. The digs per set mark ranks as 39th best in the country.
Ticknor, a Grapevine, Texas native, has posted double-digit digs in all but three matches, including the season opener when she only played two sets. She has 10 matches of 20+ digs and set her new career high with 33 on Sept. 30 at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Carlisa May ranks second in the league in kills per set with a 4.08 mark, while Drew Jones is fifth at 3.35. May’s 4.08 per set mark ranks as the 35th best in the nation, while her total kills (408) is 32nd most.
Senior middle blocker Jessica Uke ranks seventh in the league with a .303 hitting percentage.
Red Wolves Non-Conference Notes
A-State went 7-6 this year in non-conference action with wins against the AAC (2x), Big East, SEC, Southland, SWAC, and Missouri Valley. The losses came to the PAC-12, SEC, ACC, Conference USA, Southland, and AAC.
Arkansas State has recorded winning records in non-conference play in five of Coach Rehr’s six seasons at the helm. In the last 10 seasons, only 2013 saw A-State post a losing record in non-conference action at 5-10.
Head coach David Rehr earned his first win over an SEC school in 10 tries when A-State defeated Ole Miss Sept. 2.
The Red Wolves are now 43-34 in nonconference action under head coach David Rehr.