LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – UALR (18-7, 10-3 Sun Belt) completed the season sweep of ULM (5-23, 1-11 SBC) with a 25-17, 25-21, 26-24 win on Friday night (Nov. 1).
UALR outhit ULM .300-.170 and also led 49-31 in kills. The Trojans held slim advantages in digs (41-39) and blocks (6-3).
Individually, junior Edina Begic hit .409 with 23 kills and five errors on 44 swings. Freshman Rachel Williams matched a career best with eight kills while sophomore Sonja Milanovic contributed nine kills. Junior Marleen de Zoete added 41 assists while freshman Kelsey Leech had a team-best 14 digs.
Hope Pawlik paced ULM with 13 kills and only one error on 20 swings for a match-best .600 hitting percentage. Alannah Cullum had 15 assists while Katie Harrington added 11 helpers. Marcela Araya had a match-high 16 digs.
Set one was tight until an 8-1 run gave UALR an eight-point cushion. Begic tallied a pair of kills to push the lead to 15-12. ULM’s Cullum put herself on serve with a spike, but Begic returned the favor with her own kill to put UALR back up three.
UALR proceeded to score five unanswered to go up eight. The Trojans first block of the match by Williams and redshirt freshman Carolee Dillard gave UALR a 17-13 advantage and forced a Warhawks timeout. Out of the break, Williams got a kill and an ace and kill by Begic pushed the lead to seven. A Dillard knuckle shot punctuated the run. Both teams sided out the final eight points and UALR took set one by eight. Begic had seven kills and no errors on 12 swings (.583 hitting percentage) in the first set alone.
Set two saw long service runs for both teams. Tied at three, Begic got a kill before UALR got its block going. Two solo blocks by Dillard around a Begic-Dillard wall put UALR up four. A service ace by de Zoete, kills by Begic and Williams and a ULM error put UALR up 11-3.
ULM answered right back with eight unanswered of its own to tie the frame. A Rachel Arnason kill stopped the Trojans momentum. Two more Arnason kills, a Maria Garcia spike, a Cullum ace and two UALR errors tied the set at 11. The Trojans rebuilt the lead to five with four points later in the set thanks to three kills from Begic and a Williams-Dillard block. UALR went on to claim the set by four.
The final set was close throughout as ULM led 23-22 late before a Begic kill off an overpass and a ULM error put UALR on match point. The Warhawks repelled one match point, but a ULM service error and a Milanovic kill down the line off the ULM back row ended the match.
UALR returns to action Sunday when it hosts South Alabama (10-12, 5-7 SBC). The Jaguars swept Arkansas State in Friday’s action.