Lady Red Wolves win Sun Belt conference home opener against UALR
It was another home court win for the Arkansas State Red Wolves volleyball team Tuesday night as they won their first home game of conference play against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.
Arkansas State improved their conference record to 2-1 after battling the Trojans in four sets, 17-25, 25-20, 25-17 and 25-17.
The Red Wolves (11-6) have won the last five of the 59 matches played against UALR (0-3).
UALR took an early lead in the first set that they would keep.
The Red Wolves tried to close the gap, but the Trojans stayed ahead by four points or more.
Once ASU reached 14 points, the Trojans increased the pace of play, as well as the lead.
After UALR scored seven points back to back, ASU scored three more times but failed to get the win.
ASU quickly took the lead in the second half and held onto it, but UALR was not far behind, forcing the Red Wolves to work harder to stay ahead.
A lack of communication, brought on by the small pep band and packed house forced errors and messed with both teams mind set.
After adjusting to the rowdy crowd, Arkansas State stepped up their game, earning them a win.
After halftime, both teams came back energized, ready to duke it out some more.
In the third and fourth sets, the lead went back and forth, keeping everyone on their toes and the Red Wolves weren't going to leave the court until they had a win to add to their record.
As the ASU defense improved, UALR started falling apart.
Both times, ASU stopped the Trojans' attempts to score after UALR reached 17 points.
The Red Wolves determination to communicate and play as a unit paid off.
"At first we kind of started out slow," senior Cayla Fielder said. "The more we talk to each other, the better it brings us up and the better we play. So I think the communication picked up in game two and it all clicked from there."
Fielder led the team with 12 kills and a 0.647 attack percentage. On the season, Fielder has 202 kills and is averaging 3.16 kills per set
Red shirt freshman Taylor Szypulski and junior Jasmine Terry were right behind her with 11 kills each.
Junior Allison Kearney had 46 assists and sophomore Megan Baska led the team with 10 digs.
Szypulski has 154 kills on the season for second most on the team and is averaging 2.41 kills per set.
As a team the Lady Red Wolves have scored 847 kills while only allowing 747.
"I think sets 2, 3 and 4 were more Arkansas State volleyball," Arkansas State head coach Justin Ingram said.
But UALR's tough, they put up a heck of a fight. I think as the match progressed, we really started getting dialed into their offense and when they were going to attack. So it took a little bit."
With the win, Arkansas State takes their win streak at home to two straight and remains first in the Sun Belt Western Division with a 11-6 over all record and a 2-1 conference record.
They lead North Texas (10-7, 1-1), Denver (4-10, 1-1), Louisiana- Monroe (7-6, 1-2), Louisiana Lafayette (8-11, 0-3) and Arkansas - Little Rock (5-12, 0-3).
The Lady Red Wolves will have two more home matches before going on the road again.
Arkansas State will next take on South Alabama at 7 p.m. on Friday and Troy at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the HPESS.
ASU will host Denver on Friday, Oct. 7 and North Texas on Saturday, Oct. 8, then go on a three game road trip.
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