MONROE, La. -- Despite an outstanding night from freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Shearer, ULM could not overcome a hot-hitting Arkansas State squad Friday night at the ULM Activity Center.
In addition to Shearer's 11 kills on 20 swings with no errors (.550 hitting percentage), she also tallied five block assists. Both marks fell just one shy of her career bests in both categories. Marcela Araya paced the Warhawks (6-27, 2-15 SBC) with 17 digs.
"Kaitlyn played like a rock star. It's a great game by her. She did exactly what we told her. I can't say enough," ULM head coach Patrick Hiltz said.
ULM nearly averted the sweep by opening up a 15-6 lead in the third set. However, Arkansas State would answer with a huge, match-changing rally to take a 24-23 lead The Warhawks would fight to a tie at 24-all and 25-all but the Red Wolves escaped with the 27-25 win.
"We started off game three the way that we should have been playing our first two sets. I told them that Arkansas State is flying around and making these great one-handed digs because they're trying to do whatever they have to do to not let the ball hit the floor, and we have to match that effort," Hiltz said.
"In game three, we did that and jumped all over them and for some reason stopped to take a breath and there they are again. That's what good teams do. They are never out of it.
The Red Wolves (13-19, 8-9 SBC), paced by Kendal Davis' 15 kills controlled much of the first two sets. Arkansas State took the opening frame 25-17.
In the second set, the Red Wolves opened up a 15-9 lead, but the Warhawks managed to close the set on an 11-10 spurt, including a 3-0 run from 24-17 to 24-20.
ULM returns to action tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for Senior Night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.