LAFAYETTE, La. -- UTA volleyball got double-digit kills from Qiana Canete and Zhanelle Geathers and a team-high 10 digs from Ashlynn Ford but Louisiana posted a three-set win (22-25, 14-25, 15-25) over the Mavs, on Thursday night at the Earl K. Long Gym.
UTA (10-13, 4-6 Sun Belt Conference) fell in a tight first set to Louisiana (16-9, 9-2 Sun Belt), before the Cajuns posted strong wins in the second and third for the win, advancing to a half game shy of first in the conference standings.
The Cajuns owned a .310-.104 advantage in attacking percentage, with UTA totaling 33 kills and 34 digs.
LEADING THE MAVS
UTA's offense was paced by Canete, who had a team-high 12 kills, adding five digs and two assists. Canete now sits 26 kills shy of the UTA career record, with the Copperas Cove, Texas, native ranking second with 1,390 kills. Canete also ranks fourth in UTA career history in digs (1,523) as the only player in program history to rank in the top three in both categories.
Canete was joined in the offensive attack by Geathers, who had a .286 attacking percentage and 1 kills. Ford had a team-best 10 kills, with four kills and sophomore Kylie Jedlicka added two kills. Madison McConnell finished with two kills, with Libbie Vickers sporting seven digs. Madison Helt had 13 assists and Haley Higgins charted a team-leading 14 assistsNEXT
UTA wraps up its road regular-season schedule on Saturday at ULM, set for 6:30 p.m. CT.
The teams traded points early with UTA taking its first lead off an error for a 4-3 advantage. Geathers smashed her first kill of the match for a 5-5 tie, with UL taking the next two points for a 7-5 lead. The Mavs fought back with a termination from Canete – her first of the set – and behind the serve of Jedlicka, regained the lead at 8-7. Canete accounted for UTA's next three points with kills as the Mavs took an 11-10 lead. The match got evened up at 12 and 14, before the Cajuns extended its lead to 18-15. Canete answered to help spur a 2-0 run to cut it to 18-17, before a 3-0 run extended the Cajuns lead. UTA fought back to cut it to 23-22 and force a timeout but the Cajuns notched the following two points out of the break for the win.
Louisiana continued its momentum from the end of the first set to take a 5-0 lead as the Mavs made five consecutive attacking errors. Canete then settled UTA into the scoring with her seventh kill. LA stretched its lead to eight at 12-4, before UTA got kills from Ford and Helt in a 3-0 run to cut it to 13-8. Louisiana opened up its lead to 20-10, with UTA getting a kill from McConnell to cut it to 21-11. LA finished off the 25-14 win with a 3-0 run.
Louisiana opened the third with the first two points, with UTA getting on the board and earning its second point on a Geathers kill. The Cajuns built their lead with 12 of the first 16 points, with UTA's extended run coming at 3-0 behind back-to-back kills from Jedlicka to narrow it to 19-12. UTA went on a 4-0 run with the Cajuns owning match point, forcing a timeout. LA notched the next point to earn the win.
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For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow @UTAVolleyball on twitter and at UTAVolleyball on Facebook.