Louisiana volleyball closed out the Comfort Suites SHSU Invitational with a pair of victories on Saturday at Bernard G. Coliseum in Huntsville, Texas. The Ragin' Cajuns picked up their first 3-0 shutout (25-20, 25-20, 25-15) of the season by defeating Prairie View A&M and handed tournament host Sam Houston State a 3-2 loss (27-25, 25-23, 21-25, 18-25, 16-14).

UL (3-1) notched 33 kills against Prairie View A&M (0-4) as sophomore Blair Claypoole recorded a team-high 10 kills in the match. Sam Houston (2-2) rallied from a 2-0 deficit before UL stopped the comeback with a thrilling, 16-14, win in the tiebreaker.

Senior Lindsay Brown moved into fourth place in the UL record books with 43 digs on the afternoon, surpassing Annette Carney (1988-91), who set the mark of 1,313 career digs. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native reached the 30-dig plateau against Sam Houston for the first time since recording 32 against North Texas on Oct. 3, 2009. With the start of her fourth season, Brown has collected 1,370 digs during her career.

Lesley Mirarchi and Mandi Gavin were named to the Comfort Suites SHSU Invitational All-Tournament team for their outstanding performances. Mirarchi notched a team-best 38 kills in four matches, averaging 2.38 kills per match. Her defense played a major factor as well as she notched nine block assists, 16 digs for a total of 42.5 points.

Gavin entered this season as the Cajuns new setter and leaves the weekend with solid experience after collecting 148 assists, 13 total blocks and a team-high eight service aces in four matches. A season-best 48 assists were notched in Saturday evening's victory over SHSU.

The victory over Prairie View A&M also gave UL head coach Heather Mazeitis her 250th career win.
Three Cajuns reached double figures in kills in the match against Sam Houston State. Freshman Taylor Meade notched her second double-double with a team-high 13 kills and 11 digs. Kerrilyn Lazare set another career-best with 14 kills and four block assists against SHSU, while Caroline Dufrene notched ten kills in the match.

Louisiana finished as runner-ups in the tournament as the squad finished behind Eastern Michigan who collected a 4-0 record over the weekend.

UL returns home next weekend, Sept. 3-4, to host the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational at Earl K. Long Gym. Houston Baptist, Jackson State and Nicholls State will are participate in the tournament.

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M

In set one, Louisiana trailed by three (4-7) early, but used a 10-to-3 run to take a 17 point lead. Prairie View A&M roared back with an eight point rally to make it an even, 17-17, contest. Freshman Lavinia Tataran used a strong service to secure five consecutive points before UL notched the point win (25-20) with a Tigers' blocking error.

Louisiana used a six-point swing in the midway segment of set two to take a commanding 21-14 advantage. Mirarchi led the Cajuns with a set-high four kills. UL staved off a late four-point Prairie View rally to win set two, 25-20.

The Ragin' Cajuns meant business in set three after leading by one point (16-15). Tataran continued her excellent serve as Louisiana reeled off nine consecutive points to win the set and match, 25-15. Claypoole managed five of her match-high 10 kills in this set, while Tataran finished with three. Brown moved into a tie for fourth-place all time as the senior collected a total of 13 digs in the match.

SAM HOUSTON STATE

Momentum fluxed back and forth in set one between the Cajuns and the Bearkats. UL held as much as a three point lead before Sam Houston surged to match-point on two occasions. Louisiana tied the contest at 24-24, but faced another match point situation. Lazare's kill, set by Gavin, reset the contest to 25-25. Sam Houston made an attacking error and was blocked by Gavin and Meade to secure a, 27-25, Cajun victory.

Brown moved into sole possession of fourth place all-time in career digs with her first dig of the match in set one.

A 9-3 run in set two helped Louisiana build a brief lead, but the Bearkats reached within one (23-24) with a kill from Carli Kolbe. Lazare made the set-deciding kill, securing a two point advantage for UL.

Sam Houston used a four point swing to take a 19-16 lead in set three. Louisiana cut the deficit to 23-21, but was unable to stifle the Bearkats as they secured a, 25-25, third set victory.

The Bearkats used the momentum for a strong fourth set by going on an 8-4 run to set the early pace. UL trailed by as many as six, but couldn't overcome the early deficit as SHSU took a 25-18 victory, forcing the tiebreaking set.

Louisiana trailed as much as five points and faced the match point on two tries in set five. However the Cajuns pulled a four-point swing as Lazare’s kill sealed the Cajuns’ 3-2 victory.


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