The University of Louisiana volleyball team used a season-high 14 service aces to disrupt the Florida Atlantic offense as the Ragin' Cajuns swept the Owls 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-19) on Friday evening at FAU Arena in Boca Raton, Fla.

Friday's win guarantees Louisiana's (17-12, 7-6 Sun Belt) first winning season since the Cajuns posted a 15-14 mark in 2002. Seventeen wins is the most for a UL squad since 2000. The Ragin' Cajuns can potentially clinch their first Sun Belt Conference Tournament berth since 2002 with a UALR loss to Denver on Sunday.

Louisiana nailed a season-high 14 service aces, winning the kills column 42-to-27 over Florida Atlantic (12-17, 3-10 Sun Belt).

"The biggest thing was our serving," said Louisiana Head Coach Heather Mazeitis. "We aced them off the floor. Florida Atlantic couldn't run their offense to their middle blocker. It was really nice."

Senior Lesley Mirarchi again led way for the Cajun offense with 12 kills, marking her 15th double-digit kills performance of the season. The Plano, Texas native hit .375 in the match, collecting two digs and two block assists.

Also posting double-digit kills was senior Caroline Dufrene. She threw down 11 kills with a .391 attacking percentage.

Libero Lindsay Brown moved into fourth place for digs in a single season. Her 16 digs on Friday surpassed Gina Calegari's mark of 549 set in 1997. Brown has scooped the ball 552 times this season and needs just 13 digs to move into third place. The Yorba Linda, California, native had a team-high five service aces.

Taylor Meade, a freshman for Louisiana, managed eight kills and an assist on Friday. She recorded a .333 attacking percentage, while grabbing 11 digs on defense.

Setter Mandi Gavin earned her 11th double-double of the year, tossing 35 assists with 10 digs. She sparked UL's offense with four kills and finished second on the team with four aces.

Kerrilyn Lazare tallied five kills and Brooke Niland inked nine digs against the Owls.

"It was a solid performance all around by our team," noted Mazeitis. "Lindsay Brown came up big with some nice digs. Mandi Gavin was very consistent and Lesley Mirarchi was solid."

Louisiana led at the midway point in set one, posting a 15-10 advantage over FAU. The Cajuns grabbed an 8-2 run, winning the first point 25-17. Dufrene led UL's offense with four kills in the set. Brown recorded five digs and four service aces.

Again, Florida Atlantic struggled with the service return as Louisiana notched eight service aces in set two. UL evaded a late 5-1 rally by the Owls to clinch set two, 25-18. Leading the Cajuns with six kills was Mirarchi. Gavin and Lavinia Tataran each had three service aces.

The Owls held a 17-15 advantage, but Louisiana reeled off a 10-to-2 run to secure the match, 25-19. Credit Dufrene and Mirarchi with a combined nine kills and Brown with eight digs as the Ragin' Cajuns earned their first winning season since 2002.

Louisiana will visit FIU at Noon CT on Sunday. The Golden Panthers swept La.-Monroe 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-14) earlier this evening. Live stats and video will be provided online at RaginCajuns.com.


This is a submitted article.  Send your press releases and articles on UL, the UL District, and quality of life in Acadiana-- particularly education & culture-- to ultoday.com by clicking here.

Follow Cajuns Sports:

RaginCajuns.com
RaginPagin.com
CajunRedZone
Athletic Network
NOLA.com