JONESBORO, Ark. (9/21/18) – The Arkansas State volleyball team swept Troy 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-18) as both teams began Sun Belt Conference play Friday night inside First National Bank Arena.
A-State (9-5, 1-0 SBC) won its seventh straight match, tying last season’s longest win streak, and improved to 5-2 in Sun Belt openers under head coach David Rehr. The Red Wolves hit .207 in the match and held Troy (6-8, 0-1 SBC) to a .096 percentage.
“I thought we played well tonight in an important match with conference season opening up,” Rehr said. “There’s always a bit of a different mindset once you enter conference matches because that’s what determines your standing and your ability to get a higher seed in the SBC Tournament and a chance at the automatic bid. Troy battled us in the first two sets, but I’m proud of how we won those close sets and came away with a decisive set three win.”
Carlisa May led the Red Wolves with 17 kills on a .282 hitting percentage, while Peyton Uhlenhake and Macey Putt each had seven kills. Ellie Watkins handed out 34 assists and Ryley Gill knocked in two of A-State’s four aces. Defensively, Madison Turner tied a career high with seven blocks and Tatum Ticknor posted 13 digs.
The Trojans jumped out to a 6-2 edge in set one, but a May kill made it 6-3 to begin a 4-0 run, including two aces by Gill, to tie the score 6-6. A-State fell behind by four again at 11-7, but a 7-1 run, capped by a kill from Uhlenhake, put the home team on top 14-12. Troy came back to take a 21-20 advantage on a block, but a 5-1 A-State run, finished by a kill from Putt, clinched a 25-22 set one win for the Red Wolves.
The second frame was a back-and-forth affair with Troy earning a 21-19 lead in the set. A-State was able to go on a 3-0 run to move ahead 22-21, but the set was tied 24-24 a few points later. A kill by May put A-State up 25-24 followed by a block from Turner and Putt to give A-State a 26-24 victory. A-State raced out in front 8-2 in set three and led by as many as eight at 21-13. Troy wasn’t able to cut into its deficit too much as A-State won the set 25-18 on a kill by Watkins to clinch the sweep.
Arkansas State returns to action Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. against South Alabama inside First National Bank Arena to wrap up the first weekend of conference play.
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 updates regarding the team.