LITTLE ROCK - It was the first time the home crowd got a chance to see UALR and the hitters put on quite a show.
UALR (7-8, 3-0 Sun Belt) smashed its fifth-best hitting percentage (.520) in school history as it swept ULM (4-8, 0-3 SBC) 25-9, 25-17, 25-14 Friday night (Sept. 28).
Sophomore Edina Begic nailed 15 kills in only 22 tries with two errors while also leading the team with four blocks. Classmate Adisa Hodzic added 13 kills and only two errors on 20 attempts for her career-best .550 attack percentage. Hodzic also co-led with Begic with four blocks.
Senior Eva Xie added seven kills with no errors on 12 attempts to hit a season-best .583. Sophomore Marleen de Zoete upped her season average in assists with 12.67 per set (38 assists total) for the match. Senior Sawyer Schaedig joined Hodzic by hitting at a career-best clip of .571 (four kills on seven swings with no errors).
ULM was led by Samantha Morse and Blanca Ocana with eight kills apiece. Zuzana Markova added nine assists while Ocana added four digs.
UALR set the tone early in the first set. After both teams sided out to begin the frame, senior Daniele Souza Moura went on a service run to give UALR the lead for good. Hodzic killed on an overpass followed by a pair of spikes by Begic. A ULM attack error opened up the 5-1 lead. The Warhawks climbed back within 5-4, but a Begic kill ignited a 13-2 run that all but ended the set.
UALR hit a blistering 15 kills on only 22 swings with one error (.636 percentage) to open the match.
Set two saw ULM make a charge that the Trojans swept aside with de Zoete's service game. After UALR started with a 12-6 lead, ULM went on its run to pull within 14-12. Hodzic and de Zoete teamed up with a block to put UALR on serve. With de Zoete serving, Begic and Schaedig recorded kills, and coupled with Warkhawk attack error, UALR went back up 18-12. ULM never recovered as UALR went up two sets heading into intermission.
The third saw another explosive run put to end the match. With the score 9-8 UALR, Begic tallied a kill followed by a senior Souza Moura spike and three-straight errors by ULM pushed the lead to 14-8. Both teams traded the next four before Begic serve put the Warhawks away for good. Xie added a trio of kills, a pair of ULM errors and Begic's lone ace made the score 21-10. Both teams sided out as UALR claimed the finale by 11.
The Trojans ended the match with 15 kills and only one error in 21 attempts (.667).
UALR returns to action tomorrow when it is the battle for SBC West supremacy when North Texas (17-5, 3-0 SBC) visits the Jack Stephens Center. Match time is 7 p.m.