LETU Athletic Communications

High five is right.

LeTourneau University’s volleyball team opened American Southwest Conference play with a pair of dominating sweeps over Louisiana College Saturday at Solheim Arena. The YellowJackets beat the Wildcats, 25-14, 25-13, 25-18, in the first match. LETU swept the second match, 25-14, 25-16, 25-12.

The two wins ran the Jackets’ record to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the ASC.

LeTourneau middle blocker Natalie Connelly had seven kills, six blocks and hit .545 on 11 swings in the first match. She finished with nine kills, two blocks and a .667 hitting percentage in the second match. Kianna Crow had nine kills, 10 digs, three aces and two blocks in the first match, and 11 kills, nine digs and two blocks in the second.

The YellowJackets hit .279 in the first match, and .292 in the second. Louisiana College, playing for the first time this season, was held to an -.036 attack percentage in the opener and .019 in the second.

Trailing 11-10 in the first set of match 1, LETU went on a 5-0 run, started and ended on a pair of kills by Connelly. Skylar Fowler and Crow each had kills during the run. Fowler and Crow had back-to-back kills, and Avery Mabery added two in a row during another 5-0 surge that put the YellowJackets up, 23-13. Following a Wildcats sideout, Crow and Madison Denega banged down winners to cap the first set.

A kill by Denega gave LeTourneau an 11-5 lead in the second set. A kill by Royanee Narcisse pulled Louisiana College within 13-9. But Connelly had a kill, and combined with Crow for a block, and Kylie Cobb served up an ace to put the Jackets ahead, 17-9. Crow fired off two aces, and Mabery had a kill and a block to put the YellowJackets ahead two sets to none.

The Wildcats opened a 6-2 lead in the third set on a kill by Leah Stamps. Denega pounded a kill, and then combined for a block with Connelly to put the Jackets on top, 10-9. Narcisse’s kill left Louisiana College in front, 16-14. Allison Smith and Connelly put away setups from Samantha Winkel, and a Wildcats attack error pushed LETU back in control, 17-16. A block by Connelly and Fowler, kill by Connelly and attack error by the Wildcats extended the Jackets’ lead to four. Following a kill by LC’s Daja’ Bell, LeTourneau wrapped up the first match with a 4-0 run highlighted around a kill by Connelly, and combination block by Fowler and Connelly.

Natalie Davenport had 16 assists in the first match, Courtney Edge had 17 digs, and Denega added four kills and four blocks, while hitting .500.

In the second match, LeTourneau raced out to a 13-5 lead in the opening set when Connelly and Mabery combined for a block. Connelly put away a setup from Davenport to make it 16-7. A kill by Smith, and a Wildcats attack error extended the lead to 19-8. An ace by Crow and kill by Cobb moved the Jackets within set point, 24-11. After three straight Louisiana College points, Camryn Hill banged down the final point to give LETU a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Jackets hit .333 on 10 kills and two errors in the first set. The Wildcats were held to a -.057 attack rate on seven kills and nine errors.

With the score tied at 13 in the second set, Davenport’s fake-set putaway and a kill by Connelly put the YellowJackets by two. Kills by Crow and Fowler bumped the Jackets’ lead to five. Following a pair of Wildcats points, LETU pounded six straight kills, including three by Crow, two by Mabery and one by Smith to end the middle set.

In the final set, Denega and Smith’s combo block spotted LeTourneau an 11-5 lead. A kill by Denega on an assist from Davenport made it 15-7. Cobb served six straight points during a 7-0 surge to extend LETU’s lead to 22-9. A combo block by Smith and Crow made it 24-11. Opposing side attack errors ended the match.

Davenport and Winkel each had 14 assists. Smith had four kills, three blocks, and hit .500. Edge had 19 digs. Cobb had 14 digs and three aces.

LeTourneau had 59 digs to Louisiana College’s 37.

The YellowJackets will play at the University of Texas at Dallas in a pair of matches beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

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