Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns volleyball team will hit the road for three straight Sun Belt Conference matches, starting Friday, Oct. 16 with Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark.

University of Louisiana VolleyballLouisiana (7-15, 1-6 Sun Belt) will then head to Little Rock, Ark., to face UALR (10-8, 4-3 Sun Belt) on Sunday, Oct. 18, followed by a quick trip down Interstate 10 to New Orleans to face off with in-state rival UNO (12-6, 5-1 Sun Belt) on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Louisiana is coming off its first Sun Belt Conference victory of the season, a 3-1 (25-19, 25-16, 25-27, 25-15) win over Louisiana-Monroe on Monday.

Fueling the triumph over UL Monroe was junior Caroline Dufrene who has stepped up her game the past three matches. Against the Warhawks, Dufrene posted 15 kills and a .370 hitting percentage - the second time in the past three matches she's had at least 13 kills and a .370 percentage.

Lindsay Brown enters the three-match road swing only 102 digs shy of cracking the overall program career Top 5. She is currently riding a string of nine consecutive matches with double figures in digs. She has reached double figures 20 times this season.

Amie Goodwin, the team's overall leader in kills with a 2.76 per set average, is two aces away from 100 in her career. Already the UL leader during the rally scoring era, she is set to become the first to reach 100 career aces in the era.

The Cajuns will lean upon the freshman duo of Ariel Krolikowski and Bethany Fogler to back up Dufrene and Goodwin. Krolikowski is the team's leader in kills in SBC matches with a 2.56 per set average while Fogler has picked up 35 blocks and averages 1.30 blocks per set.

Krolikowski has recorded double figures in kills in four of the seven SBC matches and has thrown down at least six in each match. Fogler has posted at least four blocks in each of the last six matches. She's the season leader in blocks with 63.

"For us the keys are stability and consistency," UL head coach Heateher Mazeitis said. "We can get up and go after a team, but we have to keep doing what got us to that point.

"These are three solid teams we are facing. Stability in the long run is what we've been struggling with."

Mazeitis is only two victories shy of her 250th career win.

The Red Wolves (14-7, 4-3 Sun Belt) swept the Cajuns on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Earl K. Long Gym. Fueling the Red Wolves attack was the combination of Cayla Fielder and Brittany Hoag who each posted 12 kills and hit above .300 for the match. The Red Wolves dominated the front row all match, posting 10 blocks while the Cajuns could only muster three. As a team ASU finished with a .232 hitting percentage and out-killed UL 45-26.

ASU is led by Fielder's 231 kills, which is good for ninth in the SBC.

ASU returns to Jonesboro after two road losses at Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky last weekend. The Red Wolves are 5-0 at the Convocation Center so far this season.

The Cajuns fell to UALR in four sets at home on Sunday, Sept. 27. The Cajuns came out strong hitting .357 in the opening set to cruise to a 25-14 victory. UALR then turned the tables by posting set victories of 25-17, 25-17 and 25-19 to claim the match.

"It's not what teams do to us, it's what we do to ourselves," Mazeitis said. "We were up all four sets with UALR."

"Troy beat UNO the other day," Mazeitis added. "Everybody has the opportunity to get after it. Consistency is going to be the key."

Overall for UALR, Anita Bucur leads the team in kills averaging 3.85 per set and in attack percentage with a .335 mark.  Giuliana De Francesco leads the team in assists with a 9.68 average, while Emily Pepperman averages a team high 3.87 digs per set. Katharina Nobel leads the team in blocks averaging 1.10 per set and in block solos with 22.

The meeting with UNO is the first of two set for this season between the Sun Belt West Division foes. The Privateers will return the trip on Friday, Nov. 13.

UNO is led by Maria Szivos with .36 aces per serve. The native of Jaszbereny, Hungary tops the squad's outside hitters in attack percentage with a .248 clip. Lindsey Loyd is the other catalyst on offense, averaging 3.09 kills per set with a .235 hitting percentage.

Kaley Hubbard leads the Privateers in blocks with 66, good for fifth in the SBC. Nicky Valenti leads the team in digs with 324, good for second in the SBC. Valenti is averaging 4.91 digs per set through 18 matches.

Louisiana will be back home next weekend hosting Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky. The Ragin' Cajuns and Blue Raiders meet on Friday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m., while the match with the Hilltoppers is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.

-- Ragin' Cajuns --


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