MONROE, La. -- ULM wraps up the 2013 campaign with a pair of home matches. First up, it’s an Arkansas State squad looking to improve its seeding in the Sun Belt Tournament followed by a UT Arlington team in the midst of a five-match skid entering the weekend on Senior Night.
The Warhawks host the Red Wolves Friday in the Activity Center at 7 p.m. The match against the Mavericks is Saturday at 7 p.m. in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
On The Web
The Warhawks are playing for pride as their season comes to a close this weekend. ULM hopes to send off seniors Maria Garcia, Iren Marinova and Blanca Ocana in style, but face two tough foes in Arkansas State and UT Arlington on Friday and Saturday, respectively. While the seniors may be bidding farewell, it is a pair freshmen who lead the Warhawk offense. Hadley Swartz is just 11 kills shy of being the first true freshman in the rally scoring era to record 300 kills in a season. She would also become the first ULM player to reach 300 kills since Zuzana Markova finished the 2011 campaign with exactly 300 kills. Hope Pawlik, meanwhile, is averaging 2.82 kills per set and 2.02 digs per set in conference play. Defensively, junior libero Marcela Araya has been a vacuum, tallying 507 digs thus far while putting together one of the best single season performances in ULM history. She ranks in the top-100 nationally with a 4.61 digs per set average.
Volleyball Quick Attacks
ULM Falls at South Alabama
The South Alabama Lady Jags used big runs in all three sets to down ULM 3-0 on Sunday in Mobile. Marcela Araya kept the Warhawks in the match with 16 digs.
Bobcats Pounce Warhawks
Despite a tough battle in the opening set and a match-high 10 kills from Hadley Swartz, ULM could not get past a well-hitting Texas State squad Friday night in Monroe. Marcela Araya collected 27 digs to help pave the way for her repeat as SBC Defensive Player of the Week.
UL-Lafayette Spoils Rivalry Night at ULM
Hadley Swartz became the first true freshman to record 200 kills in a season at Arkansas State on Oct. 18. She is the first freshman to reach the mark as a since Blanca Ocana did it in 2009 and could become the first freshman to tally 300 kills in the rally scoring era this weekend (needs 11). Hope Pawlik joined the 200-kill club last weekend. This season is now the first time ULM has had two players with over 200 kills in a season since 2011, when three players were at 200-plus kills.
Araya SBC Defensive Player of Week...Again
Marcela Araya took home Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season and sixth time in her career. She has is now just 40 digs shy of the single-season record (547). She also earned the honors on Sept. 30. She has the most SBC awards of any ULM player since the Warhawks joined the league in 2006.
The Hiltz File
Head coach Patrick Hiltz returned to ULM in Spring 2013 after a year at Nicholls State, where he posted an 11-19 record. Shortly after he was hired back to ULM, Hiltz brought assistant coach David Fischer on board to aid in the indoor game and also head up the sand program. The tandem led the Warhawks to a sand volleyball national tournament appearance this past spring. Prior to coming to Louisiana, Hiltz spent significant time in Arizona.
Scouting the Opponents
Arkansas State (Fri., Nov. 15, 7 p.m.) will be just the second opponent to take on ULM in the Activity Center this year and comes into Monroe hungry for a win to help propel the Red Wolves into the Sun Belt Tournament. The offense is paced by Sadie Clark’s 2.97 kills per set average (336 total kills) while libero Megan Baska is one of just two liberos ahead of Marcela Araya in total digs. Baska is trailing her ULM counterpart by 0.06 digs per set in the Sun Belt rankings. The Red Wolves have struggled to a 7-9 SBC record this year but are 6-1 overall in five-set contests.
Last time, ASU defeated ULM 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 30-28). The Warhawks were forced to use Araya as an attacker in the match, where she recorded several career highs from the offensive side.
Series History: 33rd meeting since 1982. Arkansas State leads 27-5.
Last Meeting: at ASU 3, ULM 0, 10/18/2013
ULM vs. the current Sun Belt: 40-189
UT Arlington (Sat., Nov. 16, 7 p.m.) served as ULM’s first conference foe of the 2013 and now will be the Warhawks last opponent of the season. The Mavericks enter the weekend paced by the second-best blocker in the nation in Charmaine Whitmore. Whitmore’s blistering 1.76 blocks per set average is firmly the top of the Sun Belt. She has 183 total blocks on the season, 55 more than the second place blocker in the league. Offensively, Taylor Gross comes in with a .293 hitting percentage, tied for seventh in the conference. However, teammate Shelby Dickson has a solid 2.67 kills per set average and is six shy of the 300-kill mark on the year.
In the last meeting, ULM took the opening set but fell in the next three despite a tough battle in the second and third sets. UTA took the match 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 27-25, 25-16) and makes its first trip to Monroe since 2005.
Series History: 42nd meeting since 1982, UTA leads 39-2.
Last Meeting: at UTA 3, ULM 1, 9/27/13