JONESBORO, Ark. (9/23/18) – The Arkansas State volleyball team fell behind 0-2, but rallied to win in five sets 3-2 (24-26, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-9) over South Alabama Sunday afternoon inside First National Bank Arena as the Red Wolves won their eighth straight match.
Carlisa May finished the match with 29 kills, a career high and the most kills by an A-State (10-5, 2-0 SBC) player in the last 10 seasons. She accumulated those 29 kills on a .310 hitting percentage and now has 1,569 for her career, the third most in A-State history. Macey Putt and Peyton Uhlenhake tallied 12 and 11 kills, respectively, while Ellie Watkins handed out 54 assists.
Defensively, Tatum Ticknor led the Red Wolves with 23 digs, while Isabel Theut and Madison Turner had three blocks apiece. The team had eight aces to four for South Alabama (6-9, 0-2) with Watkins, Uhlenhake, and Ticknor each recording two. The Jaguars out hit A-State .279 to .265, but the Red Wolves had 10 more kills (69-59) and more digs (53-51).
“Championship teams find a way to come from 0-2 and win,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “South Alabama played with more intensity than us at first and it showed, but we were able to take it up a notch and that helped fuel the comeback. I’m proud of our team and it was a total team effort for us to come back and win this match.”
The Red Wolves raced out to an 18-12 advantage in set one, but the Jags mounted a comeback with a 12-5 run to go ahead 24-23. A-State won the next point, but two kills from Hannah Harris gave USA a 26-24 win. South Alabama jumped out to an 18-12 lead in set two, but A-State managed to claw back within three on a few occasions, the last at 24-21. However, another kill by Harris gave the Jaguars a 25-21 win and 2-0 edge in the match.
The two teams were tied 11-11 in set three before a 9-1 run, capped by a kill from Uhlenhake, put A-State in control 20-12. The home team was able to get on the board with a 25-17 set win. The fourth set was tied 7-7 early before A-State went on a 10-2 run, finished by a kill from May, to go up 17-9. However, South Alabama battled back to within two twice, including 24-22, but a service error gave A-State a 25-22 win to tie the match 2-2.
Arkansas State jumped in front 3-0 in the decisive fifth set to force a timeout by the visitors. South Alabama won the next point, but couldn’t get any closer than 10-7 later in the frame. The Red Wolves then used a 5-2 run to win the set 15-9 and clinch the 3-2 comeback victory.
The win gave A-State a sweep of the opening weekend of conference play for the fourth time under Coach Rehr. The Red Wolves improved to 31-5 against South Alabama and have now won seven straight over the Jaguars.
South Alabama was led by Harris, who had 19 kills and 11 digs for a double-double. Morgan Stalcup had 12 kills on a .647 hitting percentage, while Kelley Hartman added another 12 for the Jags.
Arkansas State returns to action Friday, Sept. 28 against UT Arlington. First serve is set for 6:30 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 updates regarding the team.