- Staff Reporter
MONROE, La. – The ULM Warhawks open Sun Belt Conference play with a trip to Texas for matchups with UT Arlington at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Texas State at noon on Sunday.
“We are 0-0 now,” said head coach Charlie Olson. “It’s a fresh start and a new chapter. This gives us an opportunity to compete against some really high level programs.”
The Warhawks (9-5) are two wins away from matching last season’s win total and are off to the best start since 2015.
“If we had won every game this preseason, I would have felt unsettled,” Olson said. “But, we dropped some tight matches and that gave us room to grow and get better.”
ULM will be led by Mikaela Worley, who is averaging 3.47 kills per set, and Kate Blasingame, who is averaging 3.10 kills per set.
McKinley Thiede is averaging 5.56 assists per set while Darby Fisher is averaging 4.47 assists per set. The pair have a combined 486 assists.
Albany Schaffer leads the team with 3.73 digs per set while Blasingame leads the team with 18 service aces. The 1.7 aces per set is good enough for 38th in the NCAA. Ina Gosen and Hailey Hughes are tied with 28 blocks apiece.
“I’m excited where we’re at, but we’re not done yet,” Olson said.
The Warhawks will take on UTA first this weekend on Friday. The Mavericks (8-4) are coming off of the Maverick Invitational where they beat Chicago State 3-1, swept Prairie View A&M and swept Stephen F. Austin.
“They are very big at the net,” Olson said. “They rely heavily on setting up a quality block. If we can serve tough, it will limit some of their offense.”
UTA is led by Brooke Townsend, who is averaging 3.81 kills per set. She will be joined by Kylee Kapp and Jessica Stancliff, who are both averaging five assists per set. Madelyn St. Germain is another threat for the Mavericks, averaging 4.17 digs per set and has 12 service aces.
“You have to take Brooke out and limit her kills,” Olson said.
After ULM takes on UTA, the Warhawks will battle Texas State on Sunday. The Bobcats (8-6) are coming off the Creeds and Crests Classic, winning the tournament. Texas State then turned around and were swept by Baylor on Tuesday.
“Their setter is extremely good,” Olson said. “She’s one of the best in the country. They’re well-coached and will pull fans. It’s going to be a phenomenal game.”
The Bobcats are led by setter Emily DeWalt, who has 439 assists and is averaging 9.76 assists per set. She will be joined by Cheyenne Huskey, who is averaging 3.22 kills per set and has 22 service aces.
“These two teams are tough, but they’re just another opponent,” Olson said.
Links to live coverage, including live stats, for Friday’s game against UT Arlington can be found on the volleyball schedule page at ULMWarhawks.com. Follow along with all things Warhawk Volleyball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @ULM_VB.
Article sourced from provided press release.