Arkansas State volleyball falls in five sets to Marshall
Bailey Helzer and Macey Putt combined for 45 of the Arkansas State volleyball team’s 71 game-clinching wins on Thursday night, but Marshall took two late points to escape with a biting 3-2 victory at inside the Cam Henderson Center.
Helzer had 23 kills on 60 kills (.233) and 11 digs to lead the Red Wolves (7-20, 2-13 SBC), while Putt eclipsed the 20 kill mark for the second straight game with 22 (. 276) to accompany 15 excavations. The Thundering Herd (8-19, 2-13) also boasted a 20-kill performance by Macy McElhaney, who netted 25 and hit .286 with 15 digs.
A-State hit .222 as a team, with Elise Wilcox hitting a team-high .324 on her 13 kills with a pair of service aces. Lauren Musante had 29 assists, while Kassidy Reeves notched a double-double with 28 assists and 18 digs. Libero Sarah Martinez also recorded a double-double with a record 25 digs to go along with 11 assists.
Yazmyn Billings knocked down seven blocks, while Wilcox and Kyla Wiersema totaled four apiece as Arkansas State held Marshall at .202 percentage.
Marshall took control early in the first set, leading by as much as four points at 10-6 before A-State rallied to equalize several times. The hosts pulled away late to take a 23-18 lead before Red Wolves came within one. Marshall would go on to take two of the next three points to win the set 25-23 and lead 1-0 in the match.
The teams traded leads in the second until after media timeout, when A-State relied on a 6-1 run capped by a Maddie Wiersema kill to lead 20-15. Herd cut the deficit to three, but Red Wolves claimed four of the last five points to win the set 25-19 and tie the game at 1-all.
The third set was much the same, with Arkansas State escaping with a 5-0 run to lead 18-13 after Billings and Reeves teamed up for a block. A-State didn’t hang around the rest of the way, despite a late push from Marshall, to clinch the set and a 2-1 lead in the match on a block from Billings and Putt.
A-State picked up that momentum in the fourth, quickly taking a 4-2 lead. Marshall then took seven straight points to regain the lead and lead 9-4 against Essence Clerkley. The Red Wolves cut it to 10-8 on a block from the Wiersema twins, but Thundering Herd took nine of the next 11 points to extend their lead to 19-10. After a McElhaney kill later made it 23-17, A-State continued to close with two more runs, but Marshall would take the set and force a deciding fifth set with a 25-19 decision. .
The Red Wolves took four of the first five points in the fifth after a kill from Wilcox, then pushed that lead to 8-4 after an ace from Putt and a kill from Helzer. Marshall then rallied to equalize at 11, which would precede five lead changes and seven more ties, then held match point after a service error. Helzer saved the point and then teamed up with Kyla Wiersema for the block to give A-State 16-15 match point.
McElhaney then registered two kills to put the Herd back in front 17-16, but Helzer responded with his final two kills to put the Scarlets and Blacks ahead 18-17. A kill from McElhaney, followed by a block gave the home side a 19-18 lead, with an ace from Bella Thompson to win the game.
Arkansas State closes out the regular season Friday in a rematch against Marshall, with a first serve inside the Cam Henderson Center scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) as well as the Arkansas State Red Wolves Volleyball Facebook page for the latest team news and updates.
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