Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team won the opening set of Sunday evening's match with UALR, but couldn't hold on as the Trojans rallied to win the next three sets and escape Earl K. Long Gym with a Sun Belt Conference victory.

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The Cajuns (6-11, 0-2 Sun Belt) came out strong hitting .357 in the opening set to cruise to a 25-14 victory. UALR (8-6, 2-1 Sun Belt) then turned the tables by posting set victories of 25-17, 25-17 and 25-19 to claim the match.

It was the fourth straight loss overall for the Ragin' Cajuns. Sunday's match was the second of a four-match homestand which continues through Sunday, Oct. 4.

Amie Goodwin led Louisiana with 17 kills, netting 12 of those in the first two sets. Ariel Krolikowski joined her in double figures with 10.

With her second assist of the second set and 14th of match, setter Kendra Hall moved past Lisa Bordes into second place in the program record books for career assists with her 3,172nd career helper.

Defensively, Lindsay Brown posted her 15th double digit dig performance of the season with 15. Lesley Mirarchi backed her up with 13 digs.

UALR benefited from the combination of Anita Bucur (16 kills) and Becky Mann (15 kills) which combined for 31 of the team's 50 kills. The Trojans finished the match with a .235 hitting percentage.

The first three sets saw the first team score win the set. There were no lead changes until the fourth and final set.

Goodwin and Caroline Dufrene combined for 10 kills in the opening set which carried the Ragin' Cajuns to a 1-0 lead in the match.

UL broke free from the Trojans with a four-point run which stretched out a 12-8 lead. Dufrene threw down a kill and Mirarchi served up an ace. That was followed by an attack error by Katharina Nobel and another kill by Dufrene which put UL up 16-8.

The Trojans broke the run with a kill by Bucur, but a kill by Goodwin, attack error by Kristi Block and ace from Goodwin pushed the advantage to 19-9. The Cajuns lead never dipped below eight points in the final 11 rallies.

UALR stormed back in the second set, starting with a 3-0 lead and finishing the set with a .444 hitting percentage (13 kills, 1 error, 27 attempts). The Trojans got their frontline defense going, posting four blocks.

Louisiana was its own worst enemy in the third set. The Cajuns struggled with a -.065 hitting percentage and hit into four more blocks. The Trojans broke open a 14-11 score with two blocks, a kill and an ace for four straight points that made it 18-11. The Cajuns never got closer than seven points the rest of the set.

The fourth set was a seesaw battle through the first 20 rallies. There were six tied scores and four lead changes.

UL grabbed a 3-1 lead after kills from Krolikowski and Goodwin were followed by an ace from Hall. The Trojans countered with a kill by Bucur and an ace of their own to knot the score at 3-all and begin the back-and-forth play.

After a pair of Goodwin kills allowed the Cajuns to move into a 10-all tie, a bad set by Hall returned the lead to the Trojans. Up 13-11, UALR sealed the set and match victory with a 4-1 run that made it 17-12.

A block solo by Bethany Fogler cut the Cajuns deficit to 20-16, but the Trojans answered again scoring on three of the next four rallies to increase their lead to six points (23-17).

Louisiana stays at home this week continuing their four-match homestand. The Cajuns welcome North Texas to Earl K. Long Gym on Saturday, Oct. 3 for a 5 p.m., match and then conclude the homestand on Sunday, Oct. 4 against Denver at 1 p.m.


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