The Arkansas State volleyball team defeated Stephen F. Austin 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-19) to win the Golden Hurricane Classic Saturday morning at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.
The Red Wolves (9-1) ran out to an early 11-8 advantage over the Ladyjacks (6-5) in set one after a Darby Graff kill, but SFA battled back to tie things at 13-13. A-State extended its lead to 19-14 on a kill by Anna Murphy that caused Stephen F. Austin to use a timeout. The Ladyjacks got within three points at 24-21, but a Kelsey Reis kill clinched a 25-21 set victory and 1-0 match lead for A-State.
A-State fell behind 1-0 in the second set, but took a 2-1 lead on a Stephen F. Austin attack error and didn’t trail the rest of the set. The Red Wolves opened up a 14-8 lead on a Drew Jones kill that forced a SFA timeout. The Ladyjacks battled back to within four points on a couple of occasions with the last coming at 21-17, but a 4-1 run, capped by a Carlisa May and Murphy block, gave A-State a 25-18 set victory and 2-0 advantage in the match.
Stephen F. Austin was the first to 10 in set three, but only led 10-9 with A-State quickly earning an 11-10 edge after a Shelby Holmes kill and May kill. The set was tied 18-18, but the Red Wolves used a 7-1 run to close the set out 25-19 with Reis earning the last point on a kill that gave Arkansas State a 3-0 win over the Ladyjacks.
“This was a pretty good match for us and I’m proud of how we competed,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “This is the best start I’ve had here and it’s something to be proud of, especially after beating four quality teams this week, but we are back to 0-0 now with conference play starting next weekend.”
May led the Red Wolves with 15 kills on a .423 hitting percentage, while Graff hit .438 and picked up eight kills. Mallory Warrington recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 32 assists and 10 digs, while Markie Schaedig led the team with 22 digs. Reis led the team with five total blocks as the Red Wolves tallied nine total as a team. Jones and Warrington were tops on the team with two service aces each.
Warrington earned her first career tournament MVP award after handing out 103 assists (11.44 per set) throughout the competition. She also added 10 kills and 25 digs. Schaedig earned her second all-tournament honor of the season after leading the team with 48 digs (5.33 per set), while May also picked up her first career all-tournament accolades. May led the team with 39 kills (4.33 per set) on a .355 hitting percentage.
The Red Wolves open up Sun Belt Conference action in their next match. Arkansas State will travel to South Alabama Friday, Sept. 18 to open the conference season. First serve from Mobile, Ala., is set for 6:30 p.m. For the latest on the A-State volleyball squad follow the team on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball) and Instagram (astatevolleyball).