Mountaineers capture first sweep since 2019, finish weekend 2-0


Jordan Young

Freshman middle hitter Lauren Pledger huddles up with her team en route to a 3-1 victory. Pledger saw her first action of the season against ULM.

Ben Gosey, Reporter

The App State volleyball team returned to action Oct. 15, beating the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 3-1. The offense stayed hot heading into Oct. 17, sweeping the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks 3-0. 

The Black and Gold stuffed the stat sheet with four Mountaineers posting double-digit kills. Leading the charge was senior outside hitter Victoria Wilform with 15, followed by junior outside hitter McCall Denny and freshman outside hitter Lulu Ambrose both at 13, and senior middle blocker Anna Kincaid with 10. Sophomore setter Sophie Cain commanded the offense with 47 assists, while defensively, senior libero Emma Reilly defended the floor with 23 digs.

The Mountaineers also recorded three individual double-doubles, with Denny, Ambrose and Cain each adding 13 digs to their performances. Denny now leads the team in double-doubles this season with five and Cain following with three. 

“This week in practice, Caitlan, our assistant coach, really honestly kicked our butts. Like she went all out in practice, and she asked us to buy in, and we all did,” Kincaid said. 

Reilly became the first Mountaineer to eclipse 2,000 total career digs during the match. This comes weeks after Reilly set the new digs record for the Mountaineers, passing Courtney Rhein, who posted 1,873 digs over her career from 2009 to 2012. 

Head coach Matt Ginipro coaches the Mountaineers during their matchup with Louisiana. App State defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns in four sets, snapping its three-game losing streak. (Jordan Young)

The Black and Gold offense played their cleanest game of the season, recording their lowest error game of the season with eight, while also hitting the ball at an efficient .468%. 

Head Coach Matt Ginipro said the team’s performance was “awesome.”

  “The biggest thing we talked about was why we won Friday was discipline and just taking care of our side, and could we do it again.”

Two Mountaineers finished with double-digit kills. Denny led the charge with 12 kills, and Kincaid followed with 10, pairing that with three blocks. Cain dished out 39 assists, while Reilly notched 19 digs over the match. 

This is also the first time the Black and Gold have swept an opponent this season. Their last victorious sweep happened in 2019. 

“It feels so good. We haven’t done that in a long time, so I’m sure we’re gonna party in the locker room and have a good time,” Kincaid said.

Kincaid highlighted the team’s offensive improvement as the key to their success over the weekend. The Mountaineers have struggled with errors all season, limiting their offensive control with the ball. 

“We have improved so much. Our offense this week has been amazing,” Kincaid said.  “That has been our biggest weakness since the start of the season, so I think that we really worked hard this week in practice, and our offense got a lot better.” 

App State faces a long road trip, traveling to Texas this weekend to face the University of Texas Arlington Oct. 22, followed with a game against Sun Belt rival Texas State Oct. 23. 

 “It’s a long trip, and we play two good opponents that are playing well right now,” Ginipro said. “We have to look at all the good things we did here and hopefully do the same exact things against opponents this weekend.”