As fall begins to creep its way down into Louisiana, in the form of storm after storm, many get excited as that means the return of football. But what if I were to tell you that there are other sports currently competing and putting in just as much work as our football players to win?

I am referring to our women’s volleyball team, who are off to a pretty decent start as they are about to enter conference play. 

They are currently 6–5 with not a single game at home, their only losses coming in longer matches of sets larger than three. Now you might be wondering what a “set” is. A set is essentially individual games within a match.

A typical match involves three sets with the first to win two winning the match.Two sets are to 25 and a third is best to 15. There are also games that include five sets, meaning that a team would need to win three to win the whole match.

Four of the Cajuns five losses have come in matches that involved four or more sets, with one coming in a three set match.

The name of the game for the Cajuns this year though has been to attack, to score more than their opponents. They lead the entire Sunbelt in terms of points scored at 634.5 in 40 sets, which would be about 15.86 points per set.

Now the one leading that attack is the 5’10” outside hitter, Shyia Richardson who leads the team and the entire SunBelt in kills, 126, and points getting 133 for the Cajuns. For those that do not know, a “kill” is just when a player hits the ball so that it directly leads to a point.

August 17, 2023 Louisiana Volleyball vs Tulane in an exhibition match at Historic Earl K. Long Gymnasium at Antoun Court. Final Score Louisiana 2 Green Wave 1. Photo by Benjamin R. Massey/Ragin Cajun Athletics

Richardson is not the only one on the team contributing to the Cajuns’ offensive success. Senior, Celeste Darling has contributed 112 points off of 104 kills and middle blocker has also made great contributions with 64 kills and 93 points. 

The sheer volume of offensive production though could not be possible without a reliable setter. That setter comes in the form of Siena DeCambra who has 408 of the Cajuns’ 479 total assists attributed to her.

The issue for the Cajuns is not their incredible offense, rather it is their lackluster abilities on defense, especially when it comes to games that get into sets four or five.

The Cajuns have allowed a SunBelt leading, 482 kills, 460 assists and 1384 total attempts. They also struggle with blocking with a total of 62.5 blocks, which places them on the lower end of the conference but also is less than their opponents 71 total blocks.

Now it is not all bad on defense, they do lead the conference in digs at 602, meaning that they can keep the ball in the air and set it up for an attack.

The Cajuns now have three games to go till conference play, losing very close matches to Mississippi State(2–3) and Wyoming(2–3), but they have also got big wins so far in the season. Their most notable win being over #18 Rice, winning 3–0 in Houston. 

Carried by an incredible offensive attack the Cajuns should be able to go through conference play with some relative ease. They could use that momentum to win the SunBelt tournament and then even make some noise on the national stage.