The Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team fired off its season-best hitting percentage in a Sun Belt match and as a result halted a four-match losing streak with a 3-1 (25-17, 31-29, 23-25, 27-25) win over defending Sun Belt West Division champion North Texas Sunday afternoon at Earl K. Long Gym.

Louisiana (9-12, 1-4 Sun Belt) finished the match with a .245 hitting percentage led by the dominant performance of Tonice White who hit .630. White did not commit an attack error and threw down a career-high 17 kills in just 27 attempts.

Kerrilyn Lazare and Lesley Mirarchi both added 11 kills. Mirarchi reached double figures in kills for the fourth straight match and increased her team-leading season total to 186.

Mandi Gavin recorded her fifth consecutive double-double, tallying 45 assists and a team-high 17 digs.

As a team, the Cajuns finished the match with a season-high 59 kills and hit above .200 in each set victory.

North Texas (10-9, 1-3 Sun Belt) saw four players reach double figures in kills led by 14 from Shelley Morton. Libero Sarah Willey accrued a match-high 24 digs.

Sunday's match closed out a three-match homestand for Louisiana. The Cajuns have six days off before returning to action on Sunday, Oct. 9 at La.-Monroe.

The Cajuns used a 34-28 advantage in kills over the first two sets to jump out to a 2-0 lead.

Trailing 6-5 in the opening set, a kill from Mirarchi evened the score and put the serve into the hands of Gavin who served up six straight points increasing the lead to 12-6. During the run White had three kills.

After NT cut the deficit to 20-17 on a Morton kill, the Cajuns began to pull away using back-to-back Mirarchi kills. Consecutive attack errors by the Mean Green moved UL to set point and Emily Klein capped off the victory with a kill.

UL jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set starting with a Gavin ace then capped by kills from Gavin and White. The Cajuns held the lead until a series of 11 ties and four lead changes down the stretch made for an exciting finish.

Tied at 29-all, a block thrown up by Mayme Cook and Lazare gave UL the lead then on the subsequent serve the Mean Green was out of rotation resulting in a point that gave the Cajuns a 31-29 victory.

Midway through the third set NT reclaimed the lead from UL and held on to prevent the sweep. Trailing 14-13, the visitors notched kills on three consecutive rallies to jump ahead 16-14. The Mean Green wouldn't relinquish the lead as they recorded a sideout each time the Cajuns closed within a point in the final four rallies.

In the final set the Cajuns made their move breaking free from a 19-all tie with a kill from White and block by Kaylee Nemeth and White. The Mean Green would extend the set by pulling into a 24-all tie following a kill by Morton, but the Cajuns never fell behind.

Tied at 25-all, the hosts reclaimed the lead 26-25 on a Lazare kill then went to Mirarchi for the finisher on the next rally.


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