Volleyball takes down SEC titan

A trip to Starkville, Miss. for the ULM Volleyball team under first year head coach, Russ Friedland, proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered. The Warhawks were able to pick up back to back wins to close out their weekend at the StarkVegas Classic, making them 2-1 to start their 2018 season.

Despite ULM’s overall success in the classic, things didn’t look too good for the Warhawks as they went down in a three game set against the newly instated NCAA Division I team, the California Baptist Lancers. 

Of the four new Warhawks to set foot on the court against the Lancers, freshman Karlee Wilkerson had the most success with seven kills of her own. The team also played well at the net, posting double the amount of blocks the Lancers had. It wasn’t nearly enough to take the match though.

Although ULM couldn’t manage to pull out their first win in match one, they still had two more matches in front of them, and they were ready. In the Warhawks second match of the day, they were able to upset the hosting team and SEC titan, the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an exciting 3-1 victory. 

ULM jumped out to a quick start in the match taking the first two sets. The third set narrowly fell to the Bulldogs with a set score of 21-25. Hardly missing the sweep, the Warhawks took it home in the fourth set to win the match. 

Of all the great performances in this match by the Warhawks, freshman Kate Blasingame seemed to be everywhere on the court. She was able to pick up her first collegiate double-double earning 13 digs along with 12 kills, including a clutch final kill on set four to lead her team to the victory. 

Blasingame wasn’t the only Warhawk doing big things in the match though. Senior Taylor Wood was able to produce big time for the defense as she posted 11 blocks. Freshman McKinley Thiede posted an impressive 20 assist. 

The Warhawks went into Saturday’s match up against the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils still hungry though. ULM was able to easily take down the Devils in a 3-0 sweep as the Warhawks picked up their second straight win to push their record to 2-1 to start the season. This marks the first time the team has gotten out to such a great start since 2011.

ULM will return home to practice before hitting the road again on Friday Aug., 31 for the Redhawks Invitational taking place at Southeast Missouri State. The Warhawks will face the hosting team, Southeast Missouri St., before rounding out their double header with Northwestern St. The Warhawks will finish off the invitational on Sept. 1 as they take on Radford at 11a.m.