UALR’s Begic has carrer night in win

LITTLE ROCK — Coming into tonight with eight matches of 30+ kills, junior Edina Begic has been close to breaking the Trojans record of 34 kills in a match.

There is a new school standard after tonight.

Begic had 36 kills, and she needed every one of them as the UALR volleyball team (11-4, 3-0 Sun Belt) pulled out a thrilling 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 12-25, 28-26) victory over in-state rival Arkansas State (6-11, 2-1 Sun Belt) on Wednesday night.

With a nine-match winning streak, the 2013 squad matched the 1997 team for the most consecutive wins under head coach Van Compton.

The Trojans had five chances to close out the match before they actually did, eliciting screams from the crowd as the fourth set went into extra points with the Red Wolves responding every time.

With the final set tied at 24-24, Begic got her 35th kill next to set up the Trojans’ third match point, but the Red Wolves came right back with a kill of their own. Sophomore Sonja Milanovic struck for her 20th kill of the night to bring up UALR’s fourth match point, but the Trojans went into the net, and the set was tied again at 26-26. The match finally concluded when Begic got kill number 36, and the Red Wolves went into the net to end it.

Begic reached double figures in kills for the 21st consecutive match, and the Trojans remained tied atop the Sun Belt standings with Western Kentucky.

Besides Begic’s incredible offensive night, she also had a team-high 14 digs for her 10th double-double. Milanovic added 20 kills and two service aces, while junior Marleen de Zoete had season-high 53 assists for a four-set match.

Sadie Clark led A-State with 17 kills on the night, while Jackie Gerig handed out 48 assists to pace the Red Wolves. Defensively, Megan Baska recorded 26 digs and added three service aces to lead A-State. Gerig, Sullivan, and Reis all had two blocks each to lead the Red Wolves.

The Red Wolves return home to the Convocation Center for conference matches against South Alabama at 7 p.m. on Friday and Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Trojans are on the road this weekend, traveling to ULM for a Friday matchup at 7 p.m. UALR then faces Troy in Troy, Ala., on Sunday at noon.