ARLINGTON, Texas -- UTA volleyball got a double-double from Qiana Canete and 13 kills from Zhanelle Geathers but it wasn't enough as Louisiana posted a four-set win (19-25, 28-26, 22-25, 20-25) over the Mavs on senior day Saturday at the College Park Center.
UTA (13-16, 7-9 Sun Belt) battled the Ragin' Cajuns through four sets, claiming the second set but falling in the first, third and fourth. The Mavs finished with a .112 hitting percentage in the match with Louisiana (20-10, 13-3 Sun Belt) finishing with a .222 percentage.
LEADING THE MAVS
Canete had 13 kills and 10 digs to earn her 19th double-double of the year and the 70th of her decorated career. Geathers added 13 kills and five digs, with seniors Allie Deese and Ashlynn Ford joining Canete and Geathers in the starting lineup on senior day. Ford finished with four kills. Madison Smith had 24 digs to lead the team, with Haley Higgins notched 47 assists and 13 digs.
The Mavs will open the Sun Belt Conference Championships, as the No. 6 seed, on Thursday vs. Appalachian State at 7:30 p.m. CT in Jonesboro, Ark. The winner will advance to face the third seed on Friday.
After Louisiana opened the match with the first point, Ford smashed a kill to even it up. Higgins then got on the board with a kill to even it at three and Canete's first kill gave the Mavs their first lead of the match. The Cajuns then went on a 4-0 run to take a 9-5 lead and UTA answered with six of the next nine points to take a 12-11 lead, featuring a monster kill from Geathers to open the run. The Mavs were the firs to 15, owning a 15-13 lead at the media timeout. The Ragin' Cajuns rallied out of the timeout to take 10 of the next 14 points to take a lead and force a timeout from Coach J.T. Wenger. The Cajuns were able to finish off the 25-19 win to take a 1-0 lead.
The teams traded points early before the Cajuns took a 5-3 lead. Harfield got a point back with a kill and the Mavs evened it at five, six, seven and eight. After Geathers tied it at 8-8 , UTA started a 4-0 run that led to a LA timeout with UTA leading 11-8. The Cajuns took eight of the next 11 points to earn a 17-14 lead as Wenger called for a timeout. LA stretched its lead to 20-15 with a 3-0 run but UTA went on a 5-0 stretch to even it back up. The teams traded the next four points until a 3-0 run saw the Mavs get to set point at 27-26. After LA evened it up, Harfield gave the Mavs a lead with a right-swing kill and Jedlicka earned the set with with her sixth kill of the match. The Mavs finished the second set hitting .139 but got five service aces in the set.
UTA opened up the set on a 2-0 run getting a kill from Higgins. After LA evened it up, UTA regained the lead at 3-2 and Canete's powerful kill gave the Mavs a 4-2 lead. Harfield gave UTA a 7-4 lead and McConnell answered a point with her fourth kill, giving UTA an 8-5 lead. The teams traded points until a 3-0 run from LA saw UTA's lead cut to 14-13. After UTA got the first point out of the timeout, the Cajuns went on a 3-0 run to take a 16-15 lead. UTA evened it up at 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 before a 4-0 LA run pushed the Cajuns to the 25-22 win.
The Cajuns notched the first two points in the set and opened up a 7-3 lead. The Mavs immediately answered with a 5-0 run to take their first lead of the set. The Cajuns used a 3-0 run to turn the tables and take a 10-8 lead. A 7-0 run saw UTA stretch its lead to 16-10. The Cajuns then used seven of the next eight points to cut the Maverick lead to 18-17 and force the first timeout of the set from Wenger. The run for the Cajuns continued to 7-0, taking their lead to 22-18. UTA got three points back but the Cajuns finished off a 25-20 win.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
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 @UTAMavsand Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow @UTAVolleyball on twitter and at UTAVolleyballon Facebook.