LAFAYETTE – The offense put the exclamation point on a perfect weekend for Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball by pounding out 54 kills on a .257 hitting percentage in a 3-1 (25-19, 25-4, 23-25, 25-13) win over Florida A&M.
The four-set triumph put the finishing touches on a 3-0 run and tournament championship for Louisiana (3-3) in its annual Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic.
Leading the charge for the third consecutive outing with a .200-plus team hitting percentage was tournament MVP Celeste Darling, who landed 17 kills on only 28 swings.
Four straight kills pulled the Ragin’ Cajuns out of a 13-11 deficit and onto the win in the opening frame. A set-ending 17-0 run in the second stanza, finished off by the serve of Avery Breaux, had Louisiana up 2-0 and in complete control.
The Rattlers (1-7) rebounded on offense in the third set to extend the match, but in similar fashion to the second set the Ragin’ Cajuns defense dominated in the fourth set holding the visitors to a .000 percentage.
Joining Darling on the all-tournament team were senior Dree’Ana Abram (first career all-tournament honor) and junior Hannah Ramirez who
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Darling’s 17 kills were the highlight of a group of five Ragin’ Cajuns who scored at least eight kills. Hali Wisnoskie and Kelsey Bennett produced nine each and Tia Jade Smith and Abram had eight apiece.
Abram only needed 15 swings for her eight kills and her .533 hitting percentage marked the third straight match hitting above .350.
Darling’s production marked the highest kills output of the young season by a Ragin’ Cajun.
Avery Breaux handed out a team-high 25 assists and added 15 digs for her third double-double of the season. She also registered three aces during the decisive second-set scoring spree.
Ramirez rounded up 19 digs to lead Louisiana’s efforts on defense. Lexi Hebert collected 12 digs during her back row duties in the rotation.
The trio of Abram, Darling and Smith each had a hand in four blocks.
Louisiana wraps up its season-opening, seven-match homestand on Tuesday, Sept. 10 hosting Southern Miss in a midweek match at Earl K. Long Gym. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
It’s the last chance to see the Ragin’ Cajuns in action at home in September as team embarks on a three-week road trip following the USM contest.