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ARLINGTON, Texas -- After wrapping up its road schedule with a win on Saturday at ULM, UTA volleyball kick off a five-match homestand with a pair of matches at College Park Center, hosting Little Rock on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT and Arkansas State at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
UTA (11-13, 5-6 Sun Belt Conference) will conclude its regular season with the five-match homestand at College Park Center. The two-match weekend will kickoff a stretch of three matches in six days as the Mavs also host Texas State (18-8, 9-2 Sun Belt) on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
The three matches have strong importance for the Mavs, who currently sit fourth in the Western Division and fifth overall in the Sun Belt standings.
UTA has won three of its last four matches entering the homestand. The Mavs are totaling a .207 hitting percentage as a team, averaging 12.4 kills, 11.4 assists and 14.7 digs per set. UTA has been led offensively by outside hitter Zhanelle Geathers, who has averaged 3.51 kills per set and sports a career-high 75 digs.
UTA senior Qiana Canete sits just 16 kills shy of equaling Caley Smith (2001-04) for the school record in career kills. Canete, a native of Copperas Cove, Texas, is averaging 3.52 kills per set to lead the team, also owning 3.01 digs per set. She ranks fourth in school history in career digs and is the only player in program annals to rank among the top three in each category.
Sophomore Kylie Jedlicka has added two kills per set and 2.38 digs per set, with sophomore Madison McConnell sporting 1.55 kills and 0.56 digs per set. Freshman Kailyn Gilbreath leads the team with nine assists per et, with Haley Higgins adding 6.56 assists per set and libero Libbie Vickers owning 3.99 digs per set to lead the team.
Little Rock (9-16, 5-8 Sun Belt) owns a five-set win over the Mavs in the previous meeting in the series in 2017, coming on Oct. 7 in Little Rock. The Trojans have totaled a .202 hitting percentage as a team, adding 12.2 kills, 10.9 assists and 14.7 digs per set.
Arkansas State (17-9, 10-3 Sun Belt) has won seven straight matches since a three-set loss at Texas State on Oct. 7. A-State has won 21 of its last 23 sets played during the stretch. The Red Wolves own a three-set win over the Mavs on Oct. 6 in Jonesboro, Ark. A-State has hit .226 as a team, owning 13.7 kills, 12.6 assists and 15.8 digs per set. Carlisa May is making a run at league player of the year honors, leading the club with 4.10 kills per set, with Drew Jones adding 3.40 kills per set and 2.45 digs.
UTA leads the series with A-State, 9-8, including a 6-4 mark in games played in Arlington. A-State has won five straight meetings in the series. UTA leads the series with Little Rock, 13-11, including a 9-7 mark in Arlington.
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