Ragin’ Cajuns keep win streak alive, surviving in five set in Little Rock
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team survived its first five-set test of the season by claiming a 3-2 (37-35, 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 15-13) victory over Little Rock in the opening match of a three-match Sun Belt series with the Trojans at the Jack Stephens Center.
Hali Wisnoskie led the attack with a career-high 27 kills as Louisiana (7-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) extended its undefeated start to the 2020 season.
Overcoming set point eight times in an exhilarating opening set that went well past the normal 25 points provided a key momentum swing for the Ragin’ Cajuns who were challenged by a Trojans squad that hit above .300 the entire morning.
Wisnoskie landed eight kills alone in the second set in lifting Louisiana to a 2-0 match lead. She scored three straight kills to break a 9-all tie and the Ragin’ Cajuns never lost the lead. Perhaps Kelsey Bennett’s most timely kill of the contest came after a 5-0 Little Rock run had sliced the lead to 23-21.
The Trojans (0-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) flipped the script in the third set with a key eight-point run early on and wound up hitting .500 in the frame to extend the match. The hosts found the floor four more times than the Ragin’ Cajuns in the fourth set, scoring 19 kills, to force the winner-take-all frame.
Bennett served Louisiana out to a 3-0 lead in the match-deciding set and with back-to-back kills following an 8-all tie kept her squad one step ahead. Twice down the stretch Wisnoskie would score a kill after Little Rock pulled within a point, then a crucial block from Cami Hicks and Desiree Johnson was key to preventing the Trojans from playing in extra points.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Wisnoskie scored at least seven kills in three of the five frames in building her new career-high figure. She reached the 20-kill mark for the second time this season and fifth time in her career.
Bennett tied her career-high with 18 kills, doing so off 43 swings on a .395 hitting percentage. It marked the second time in the past three matches she’s totaled double-digit kills.
Kara Barnes’ 13 kills and Desiree Johnson’s 10 kills provided the remainder of the bulk of Louisiana’s offense.
In her first extended playing time, the freshman Hicks led the Ragin’ Cajuns with four blocks. Wisnoskie had a hand in three blocks while Barnes and Bennett were also involved in multiple blocks.
Hannah Ramirez rounded up a career-high tying 29 digs leading a group of five players in double figures.
Avery Breaux also collected a personal milestone as her match-high 64 assists marked a new career-high total, surpassing her previous best of 55 vs. Appalachian State on Oct. 4, 2019. She added 11 digs for her team-leading fourth double-double.
The Ragin’ Cajuns and Trojans return to the court at the Jack Stephens Center on Friday evening for the second match of their Sun Belt opening series. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. live on ESPN+.
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