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Lulu Ambrose
Lulu Ambrose led the Mountaineers, with 16 kills.

Appalachian State Volleyball Drops Regular Season Finale

The App State volleyball team closed the regular season with a five set loss to Louisiana (3-2 (12-25, 25-16, 25-16, 16-25, 15-8)) on Saturday in Lafayette.

“We have talked all week about finding positive momentum going into the conference tournament and we created that today,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We got better and fought hard even though we didn’t find a result. Lulu Ambrose, McCall Denny and Maya Winterhoff had elite performances today and we will need them to be great next week as well. We are looking forward to starting a new season next week in the conference tournament.”

Three Mountaineers recorded double figure kills, with junior Lulu Ambrose leading the team with 16 on the day. Fifth year senior McCall Denny recorded 12 kills and 13 digs for her 30th career double-double. Sophomore Maya Winterhoff tallied 11 kills with a hitting percentage of .423, as well as a team-high five blocks. Senior Sophie Cain and Katie Cruise recorded double-digit assists, with 24 and 16, respectively. Sophomore Alyssa McBean tallied 14 digs and freshman Taylor McNear served up three aces. App State recorded six aces, nine blocks, 50 kills, and 54 digs on the afternoon.

App State came out strong in the first set, taking a 6-4 lead after kills from Denny and Winterhoff. A 3-0 run that featured a block from junior Lauren Pledger/Ambrose followed by a kill from freshman Ava Leahy put App State up, 11-7. A pair of Ragin’ Cajun errors in addition to a kill from Delanie Grevengoed and McNear ace extended the Black and Gold’s lead to 17-10. With two more 4-0 runs, App State took the set, 25-12.

Denny started the second set with a kill, but the Ragin’ Cajuns found momentum with a 5-0 run to jump ahead 7-2. App State chipped away at the deficit, which had grown to 17-8, with a 3-0 run that included a kill from Winterhoff and two consecutive kills from Ambrose. Despite a pair of kills from Ambrose and Denny, as well as a block from Pledger/Grevengoed, Louisiana took the set, 25-16.

Louisiana’s momentum carried to the third set, as they took an early 11-5 lead. App State closed the deficit to 13-10 with a kill from Grevengoed. With a 5-0 run, promptly followed by a 4-0 run, Louisiana reached set point (24-14). The Mountaineers held Louisiana to two set points with a kill from Ambrose and Ragin’ Cajun error, but Louisiana came out on top, 25-16.

App State took an early 8-2 lead in the fourth set, building off an ace from McBean, kills from Winterhoff and Ambrose, and a block by Winterhoff/Leahy. The Mountaineers extended the lead to 15-7 after a solo block and kill from Denny. Denny brought the Mountaineers to set point with a kill, which Winterhoff followed with a kill of her own to cap the set, 25-16, for the Mountaineers.

In the fifth and final set, Louisiana took an early 6-1 lead. App State chipped away at the deficit with a solo block from Winterhoff, an ace from senior Sophie Cain, and a block from Winterhoff/Leahy. Back-to-back kills from Ambrose and Pledger closed the deficit to 13-8, but it wasn’t enough, as Louisiana took the set, 15-8, and the match, 3-2.

The Mountaineers will head to Foley, Ala. for the Sun Belt Tournament, Nov. 15-19. As the East Division’s No. 6 seed, App State will take on the West Division’s No. 7 seed, ULM, at 5 p.m. CT (6 p.m. ET) on Wednesday in the first round. The tournament will be available to stream on ESPN+.