Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team needed less than one hour to sweep past Alcorn State Thursday evening at Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches.

University of Louisiana VolleyballThe Ragin' Cajuns (6-7) opened play in the Northwestern State Tournament by winning three sets over the Braves (0-7) by the count of 25-14, 25-12, 25-9. The match was completed in 52 minutes.

Nearly half of Louisiana's attack attempts went for kills. UL threw down 44 kills on 89 attempts and finished with a team hitting percentage of .360. The Cajuns dominance held Alcorn to just 14 kills and 63 attempts.

The Cajuns saw five players register at least five kills. Lesley Mirarchi led the way with 13 kills. Mandi Gavin collected nine kills on 15 attempts and setter Kendra Hall posted eight kills on only 12 attempts.

It was Mirarchi's third double figure kills total in the past six outings. Hall did not commit an attack error and finished with a sizzling .667 hitting percentage.

The outcome was never in doubt. There were only three tied scores and no lead changes.

Louisiana registered 14 service aces, with four apiece by Hall and Gavin. It marked the fifth time this season that the Cajuns posted double figures in aces.

Leading 3-1 in the opening set, the Cajuns broke free getting kills from Goodwin and Gavin on the next two rallies and then a service ace from Gavin. An attack error by ASU's Brittany Watts upped the UL lead to 7-1.

The Braves crept within four points, 11-7, then the Cajuns put the set away by scoring on seven of the next eight rallies to open a double digit lead, 18-8.

A pair of Mirarchi kills on the 10th and 11th rally of the second set pushed UL's lead to 7-4. Still leading by three at 9-6, three straight service aces - all from Hall - pushed the lead to six points which was the closest Alcorn would get the rest of the way.

The Cajuns' final six points of the second set were registered by kills. Louisiana held an 18-5 advantage in kills during the set.

UL hit .343 (15 kills, 3 errors, 35 attempts) in the final set while the Braves struggled at a -.080 clip netting only three kills on 25 attempts. As a result, the score was never tied and the Cajuns raced to the 25-9 victory which sealed the sweep.

The victory allowed Louisiana to end a two-match losing streak. It also kept alive the team's goal of completing non-conference play with a winning record.

The Ragin' Cajuns will complete their stay in Natchitoches on Friday. UL will battle Central Arkansas (9-2) at 1 p.m., and close out the day with host-Northwestern State (0-7) at 7 p.m. Friday's action marks the final non-conference matches of the season.

-- Ragin' Cajuns --


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