Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team will participate in its third tournament of the 2009 season Friday-Saturday, Sept. 11-12 in Lake Charles on the McNeese State campus.

University of Louisiana Volleyball

Louisiana is taking part in the McNeese State Invitational being held at Memorial Gym.

The Cajuns (3-5) will face Texas-Pan American, who they swept in the first match of the season, Prairie View A&M and host-McNeese State.

UL starts tournament play on Friday in a 3 p.m., match with UTPA. On Saturday, there's a 10:30 a.m., meeting with Prairie View A&M before the tournament finale against McNeese State at 6 p.m.

The Ragin' Cajuns are coming off of a week in which they faced four tough opponents in tradition-rich Stephen F. Austin, national powerhouse Nebraska, defending Conference USA champion Tulane and 2008 NCAA Tournament participant LSU. If UL is to grab its first tournament title of the season they'll have to get by the host Cowgirls who are playing extremely well.

McNeese (6-1) has already defeated two SEC teams in Mississippi State and Alabama, as well as one of the top Sun Belt Conference teams in UALR.

"They (McNeese) are doing really well this season, which is exciting for them and us," said Louisiana head coach Heather Mazeitis. "It's going to be a really good match if we come out and play as well as we did in the first weekend.

"McNeese is very consistent; they don't do anything flashy they're just consistent and those are hard teams to beat."

UL will look to stop its current five-game skid after starting the season 3-0.

"It doesn't feel like that (we've lost five in a row)," Mazeitis said. "The Sam Houston loss was just such a great match and the other three we came out and did really well in certain areas, but good teams are going to make you look bad at times. All three teams complimented us and said we'd do great in our conference."

So far this season the Cajuns have accumulated 265 kills, with Ariel Krolikowski and Amie Goodwin leading the team with 65 and 63 kills, respectively.

Kendra Hall has been responsible for nearly all of those kills as she leads the team with 213 assists. Hall is on the verge of becoming only the third player in school history to reach 3,000 career assists, entering the weekend only 101 helpers shy of the mark.

On the defensive side of the ball, Bethany Fogler leads the team in blocks with 17. Lindsay Brown, meanwhile, does her best to keep the ball off the ground, accounting for 123 digs. Brown averages 4.73 digs per set which ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference.

Fogler leads the team in service aces with nine, while Krolikowski and Brown aren't far behind with eight apiece.  

"We're ready to get back on the winning track and that's our plan," Mazeitis said.

Mazeitis said she's glad the Cajuns have faced such stiff competition so far this season.

"Bringing in this freshman class I wanted to show them as well as the returners where we plan on being in the next three years," Mazeitis commented. "If I can show them this is the top then we can figure out how to get there...they have to see it to be able to obtain it."

-- Ragin' Cajuns --


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