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Volleyball Bests Louisiana in Four Sets on Thursday

Harrison Parker

NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion volleyball got back into the win column on Thursday night as the Monarchs opened their Sun Belt series versus Louisiana with a 3-1 victory.

"We executed on a really good level," said head coach Fred Chao. "We were watching Louisiana play a lot of their matches and they're really good. I'm over the moon with this win and our performance tonight."

ODU 3, Louisiana 1
The Monarchs (10-13, 2-7 Sun Belt) were down 9-5 in the first set, but a Louisiana service error and an ace from Elisa Maggi cut the Ragin' Cajuns' (12-11, 3-6) lead to 9-7. A few points later, a block by Teresa Atilano and LeeAnne Lowery and an ace by Atilano opened up a 7-1 swing that put ODU in front, 15-13. A Myah Conway kill and a solo block by Lowery stretch the lead to 23-19 late, and a Louisiana service error and another kill for Conway sealed the set point for the home team at 25-21.

In the second set, Kate Kilpatrick assisted Conway to open up a 7-0 run as ODU jumped out to an early 9-4 lead. The Cajuns were able to pull to within a point at 15-14, but then committed back-to-back attack errors before Elisa Maggi converted her attack to make it 18-14. Bailey Burgess served a pair of aces to help create some separation at 22-17 and Lowery scored three more kills as the Monarchs won another set, 25-19.

ODU controlled the third set 11-6, but Louisiana strung together eight unanswered points to surge ahead, 19-14. With the Monarchs trailing 21-15, a Burgess kill opened up a 4-0 response for the hosts, but Louisiana pulled away again with a 3-0 run of its own. The visitors held on 25-20 to send the match to a fourth set.

The Cajuns had a narrow 8-7 lead in Set Four when Tessa Mati put away a ball from Atilano. That ignited a six-point push for the Monarchs, who never looked back from there. A successful attack by Burgess and an ace from Maggi extended the lead to 22-14, and Atilano set up Conway to score the match point at 25-18.

Conway hit for a .333 clip with a team-high 20 kills, and Lowery set new career highs of 11 kills, 10 blocks and 16.5 points while hitting for .733. Five different Monarchs served multiple aces: Kilpatrick led the way with three while Mati, Atilano, Burgess and Maggi all served two. Atilano recorded her 14th double-double of the season and her ninth in a row with 41 assists and 12 digs. Atilano and Conway followed Lowery in blocks with three each, and Mati finished with a season-high 12 digs.

Asked about Conway and Lowery's efforts, Chao added, "They're what's needed to take on a team like Louisiana, who plays fast, smart and aggressive. You've got to put some size up there and it came through for us tonight for sure."

ODU hit .270 for the match, to include .313 in the second set and .524 in the fourth. The Monarchs led the Cajuns in points (74-58), kills (52-48), service aces (11-5), blocks (11-5) and assists (49-46). There were 17 ties in the match, to include six in the opening set and seven in the fourth, with seven lead changes.

Up Next
ODU and Louisiana meet again tomorrow for the second match of their series. First serve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.