Preview: A-State Travels to Alabama To Open Conference Play
JONESBORO, Ark. (9/25/19) – A new phase of the 2019 season begins on Thursday night for Arkansas State volleyball with the start of Sun Belt Conference play.
The Red Wolves (9-3) look to continue a four-match winning streak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the league opener at Troy (10-2), followed by a Friday night showdown at South Alabama (8-5).
Series History vs. Troy & South Alabama
Record vs. Troy: 18-1
Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (9/21/2018 – Jonesboro, Ark.)
Streak: A-State, 8
Restrepo vs. Troy: 0-1
Record vs. South Alabama: 32-5
Last Meeting: W, 3-2 (11/15/2018 – Atlanta, Ga.)
Streak: A-State, 8
Restrepo vs. South Alabama: 1-0
- - This season marks the 45th year of volleyball at Arkansas State, owning an all-time mark of 1,053-536-5 (.662)
- - The Red Wolves are riding a four-match winning streak entering conference play after sweeping the field at the Hokie Invitational, dropping just one set over three contests.
- - A-State is a perfect 34-0 since the 2017 season when taking the first two sets. See page 5 in match notes for more.
- - In Sun Belt Conference openers, Arkansas State is 20-8 all-time. See page 4 in match notes for more.
- - Timber Terrell posted one of the best weekends of her career during the A-State Invitational, leading the team in blocks and finishing second in kills en route to All-Tournament honors. Terrell continued that trend into the final weekend of non-conference play, earning Tournament MVP laurels with 29 kills and nine blocks over the weekend.
- - Through the first 12 matches, A-State has tallied 16 total double-double performances. Through 12 in 2018, the Red Wolves totaled 12 double-doubles.
- - Under first-year head coaches, the Red Wolves are 144-99 overall.
- - On Saturday vs. UAPB, Santiago Restrepo earned his 300th win at the Division I level.
- - Entering Thursday, A-State ranks in the top five in the Sun Belt Conference in 13 categories. See page 5 of Match Notes for more.
Opening Sun Belt Conference Play
- - Since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 1991, Arkansas State is 20-8 in league openers and began with seven straight wins from 1991-1997.
- - A-State won 51 straight conference matches after joining the conference before dropping a match to Lamar in its second conference match in 1997.
- - The Red Wolves opened conference play last season against Troy, sweeping the Trojans in Jonesboro.
Know the Foe: Troy & South Alabama
- - Troy enters the Thursday night’s conference opener with a 10-2 mark, which is the Trojans’ best start to a season since the school turned Division I in 1993. The lone common opponent thus far between Troy and A-State in 2019 is Chattanooga, with the Trojans sweeping the Mocs during week 2. Troy boasts a strong offensive presence highlighted by Cheyenne Hayes and setter Amara Anderson. Hayes, a 2018 all-conference selection, leads the Sun Belt Conference in kills/set (4.56) and points/set (4.98) while ranking second in kills (187) and points (204.0) and third in attacks (434).
- - South Alabama enters the opening week of conference play with an 8-5 overall ledger. The Jaguars hit .252 as a squad, which ranks third in the league, while their 588 kills rank fourth in the conference. Kelley Hartman is the leader on the stat sheets for USA, hitting .441, which ranks first in the SBC. Ashlyn Roberts ranks third in the league with 204 total digs.
First Set Is Key … Second Set Also Helps
- - Winning the first set is always a great start to a Red Wolves’ victory. In 2018, A-State was nearly unbeatable after taking the first set, going 16-3.
- - Over the past two-plus seasons, the Red Wolves are 41-8 when going up 1-0 in the match.
- - If you extend that trend into the second set, A-State was 14-0 when it took the first two sets in 2018, and 34-0 dating back to 2017.
- - This season, the Red Wolves are 6-0 when taking a lead of 2-0.
Defense! (Clap Clap) Defense! (Clap Clap)
- - Defense has been a staple of Arkansas State’s success in recent years. In 2018, the Red Wolves were 8-2 when holding opponents to a hitting percentage of under .200.
- - This year, A-State has held 11 of its 12 opponents to hitting percentages of below .200 to open the year (the one team being nationally-ranked Rice, who hit .226). As of Sept. 24, the Red Wolves own the top opposing attack percentage in the Sun Belt Conference, holding foes to a mark of just .130, a mark that ranks third nationally.
Welcome to the [Block] Party
- - Through the first nine matches of 2019, the Red Wolves have amassed 98.0 blocks, which ranks first in the Sun Belt Conference entering the weekend. That total is the best since the 2015 squad, Arkansas State’s last NCAA Tournament team, earned 104.0 blocks through the first 12.
- - Over the same span in 2018, A-State tallied 71.5 blocks as a squad.
- - Freshman Kendahl Davenport ranks third in total blocks in the league (41).
Ace Ace In Your Face!
- - A-State has been among the Sun Belt’s best behind the service line, totaling 73 service aces through the first 12 contests, which ranks third in the league and 69th nationally.
- - That total is the most by an Arkansas State team since the 2011 team served an astounding 92 aces through the first 12 outings.
- - Through 12 in 2018, the Red Wolves notched just 54.
- - Defensively, A-State has only allowed 37 aces, which ranks first in the league.
- - In 12 matches, Arkansas State players totaled 16 double-doubles to open the year, led by five from Peyton Uhlenhake and four Malgorzata Andersohn. That team total bests the 2018 mark through 12 (12).
- - Julianna Cramer has accounted for three, while Macey Putt has three and Hannah Cox has one.
- - In 2018, the Red Wolves totaled 33, with Macey Putt tied for second on the team with 8.
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 news and updates regarding the team.