MATCH 25: Georgia State (8-15, 2-8) at Arkansas State (15-9, 8-3)
Friday, Oct. 27 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
First National Bank Arena • Jonesboro, Ark.
Series: A-State leads 9-0
Live Stats: AStateStats.com; Live Video: Red Wolves Digital Network
MATCH 26: Georgia Southern (7-15, 3-7) at Arkansas State (15-9, 8-3)
Saturday, Oct. 28 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
First National Bank Arena • Jonesboro, Ark.
Series: A-State leads 6-1
Live Stats: AStateStats.com; Live Video: Red Wolves Digital Network
This season marks the 43rd year of volleyball at Arkansas State and A-State has an all-time mark of 1,019-516-5 (.663) and became the 18th program in Division I history to earn 1,000 victories on Nov. 4, 2016. The Red Wolves began last season with 979 wins.
A-State improved to 15-9 overall and 8-3 in league play with a pair of road wins over East Division foes Troy (3-0) and South Alabama (3-1). The Red Wolves defeated Troy Friday night before handing South Alabama its first conference loss of the season Sunday afternoon. A-State has knocked off undefeated league teams in back-to-back weekends after handing Louisiana-Lafayette its first loss Oct. 15.
The Red Wolves out hit the Trojans .302 to .157 Friday night, then out blocked the top blocking team in the league in South Alabama by a count of 10-7 Sunday.
Drew Jones became the second A-State player this season to register her 1,000th career kill with her 11th kill in the match against Troy Oct. 20 joining Carlisa May who joined it on Sept. 22.
Carlisa May had 43 kills (6.14 per set average) in the two wins over the Trojans and Jaguars and earned SBC Offensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts.
The Red Wolves didn’t allow Troy or South Alabama to record a service ace against them over the weekend.
A-State vs. Georgia State Series History
The Red Wolves lead the all-time series with the Panthers by a count of 9-0 with seven of those nine meetings occurring over the last four seasons after the Panthers joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2013. One of the matches came in last year’s SBC Tournament, the first time both schools had faced each other in the conference tournament.
A-State and Georgia State played for the first time in the 1989 season at the UAB Lady Blazer Classic in Birmingham, Ala., with Arkansas State earning a 3-0 victory over the Panthers. They played again in 1990 with A-State earning a 3-0 win in Atlanta, Ga.
The Red Wolves and Panthers have been Sun Belt Conference foes for the last seven meetings. A-State began conference play in 2013 with a 3-2 win over the Panthers in Jonesboro before claiming a 3-1 victory later in the season in Atlanta. The Red Wolves also won both meetings in 2014 with A-State earning a sweep at home before chalking up a 3-1 triumph on the road later in the year. The two squads only met once in 2015 with the Red Wolves claiming a 3-0 sweep in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 6.
Last season, the two teams met twice with the first meeting occurring on Oct. 29, 2016 in Atlanta, Ga., with A-State earning a 3-0 victory over the Panthers. Carlisa May led the team with nine kills, while Kelsey Reis tallied eight on an .800 hitting percentage. Markie Schadig picked up 23 digs, while Shelby Holmes recorded six blocks. The two teams met in the first round of the SBC Tournament in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 18 with the Red Wolves claiming a 3-0 sweep. The win was head coach David Rehr’s 500th career win and he improved to 7-0 all-time against Georgia State. May led the team with 10 kills, while Kenzie Fields had nine and led the team with 12 digs.
Georgia State enters the weekend with a record of 8-15 and 2-8 in league play. The Panthers two wins in league play came in five sets over ULM and Appalachian State. A-State and Georgia State didn’t share any common non-conference opponents.
A-State vs. Georgia Southern Series History
Arkansas State holds a 6-1 advantage all time against Georgia Southern, with all seven meetings occurring during the 2013 season or later.
The first meeting was in the 2013 Magnolia Invitational in Oxford, Miss., in a nonconference contest with the Eagles claiming their only win of the series by a score of 3-1. Georgia Southern finished the season 28-6 and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The two teams are now conference foes and A-State has earned six straight victories over the Eagles with 3-1 wins in both meetings during the 2014 season. A-State claimed 3-0 sweeps in all three contests two seasons ago, including a 3-0 win in the first round of the 2015 SBC Tournament at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro.
Last season, the Red Wolves and Eagles only met once with A-State winning 3-0 on Oct. 28, 2016 in Statesboro. Shelby Holmes and Kelsey Reis led the Red Wolves with 11 kills apiece with Reis hitting at a .588 clip. Kenzie Fields added 10 kills, while Markie Schaedig picked up 21 digs. Jessica Uke led the team with four blocks and Mallory Warrington handed out 32 assists.
All seven meetings between the two teams have occurred with David Rehr as head coach for the Red Wolves.
The Eagles enter the weekend with a 7-15 overall record and 3-7 mark in league play. The 3-7 mark is tied for third in the East Division with Troy and Appalachian State. Georgia Southern’s SBC wins are over ULM and Troy twice. A-State and the Eagles didn’t share a common non-conference foe.
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 last week. 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 294 kills and a 3.38 per set mark. Going into this weekend’s matches she has 1,013 kills in her career.
Carlisa May was the other player to achieve 1,000 career kills earlier this season and now has 1,161 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 105 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.
The Red Wolves have won at least one of the Sun Belt weekly awards in six of nine weeks this season and have had at least one weekly award winner 26 times out of 333 chances since the beginning of the 2015 season. Over that time span, Arkansas State players have claimed 43 separate individual weekly honors.
Additionally, May has been nominated by HERO Sports for it’s Division I Volleyball “Hero of the Week” after her performance. She’s currently second in the voting.
Red Wolves Top ULM, Avenge Loss to Louisiana
Arkansas State ran its win streak over ULM to 32 matches with a 3-0 sweep of the Warhawks Oct. 13. A-State out hit ULM .186 to .118, out blocked them nine to six, and had more aces (5-2). Carlisa May led the team with 10 kills despite hitting for a negative percentage at -.036, the third time she’s hit negative this season with the other two coming against Coastal Carolina and SMU (both A-State losses). Ellie Watkins handed out 31 assists and Kenzie Fields led the team with 17 digs.
A bright spot for the Red Wolves was Madison Turner, who made her first career start for Arkansas State against ULM. The Drexel, Mo., native tallied a career-high eight kills on a career-best .615 hitting percentage. The .615 hitting percentage is the third highest by an A-State player this season. Additionally, the middle blocker also totaled a team-high four blocks, which was also a career high.
The Red Wolves then went on to avenge an earlier loss to Louisiana-Lafayette with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center. The victory gives A-State seven wins in its last eight matches versus the Ragin’ Cajuns and handed Louisiana its first setback in league play.
The Red Wolves held Louisiana-Lafayette to an .082 hitting percentage, the second lowest by an A-State opponent this year next to Southern’s .062 Sept. 9. Carlisa May and Drew Jones led the team with 18 kills and 17 kills, respectively, while Ellie Watkins handed out 48 assists. Tatum Ticknor led the team with 26 digs, while Kenzie Fields picked up 20, her third match of the season with 20 or more digs. Jones earned her team-best 11th double-double of the year by adding 15 digs to her kill total. Timber Terrell led the Red Wolves with four blocks, but the Ragin’ Cajuns did out block A-State 11-8 with that category being the only one Louisiana led in. The Red Wolves registered 60 kills in the match, while Louisiana-Lafayette only had 36. A-State also had 90 digs to just 76 for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
A-State has 19 double-doubles this season with Drew Jones leading the way with 11, all of hers being in kills and digs. Kenzie Fields is second with five, while Ellie Watkins has two and Sheridan Webb has one.
The Red Wolves had two consecutive matches (Sept. 23 versus App State and Sept. 30 at Louisiana-Lafayette) with three players picking up double-doubles. Drew Jones and Kenzie Fields had double-doubles in both matches, with Sheridan Webb earning her only one of the season in the five-set win over App State (57 assists, 11 digs), while Ellie Watkins returned to post her second of the season in the five-set loss to Louisiana when she dished out a career-best 60 assists and tallied 10 digs.
Kenzie Fields picked up a career-high 22 digs to go along with 12 kills in the five-set loss to Louisiana-Lafayette, while Drew Jones tallied 11 kills and 12 digs on Sept. 30
Drew Jones is the current active leader in career double-doubles for the Red Wolves with 19. Kenzie Fields is the next closest with 11. Jones’ latest double-double came Oct. 15 against the Ragin’ Cajuns when she recorded 17 kills and 15 digs.
Mallory Warrington was last season’s leader with 15 double-doubles and ended her career with 60.
Watkins, Ticknor Top SBC Leaderboard
Setter Ellie Watkins leads the Sun Belt Conference with an 11.23 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 and digs per set with 445 for a 5.06 per set average. The digs per set mark ranks as 37th best in the country, while the total digs is 24th most in the nation.
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 4.03 mark, while Drew Jones is fifth at 3.38. May’s 4.03 per set mark ranks as the 46th best in the nation, while her total kills (351) is 27th most.
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.