Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA begins its 2022 campaign with the Crimson Tide Invitational

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA's volleyball program looks to return to its winning ways in 2022 with its new head coach Carol Price-Torok in tow as it starts the season with the Crimson Tide Invitational this weekend, August 26-27.
The tournament takes place in Tuscaloosa, Ala. And features three other schools and among them is the host school Alabama. Joining the Roadrunners and the Crimson Tide are former C-USA member Southern Miss and McNeese State.
UTSA will have two matches on Friday, August 26, as it begins the day with a 10 a.m. matchup with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Following the team's first action of the day, UTSA will then have a break before its second match of the day where they take on Alabama at 7 p.m. The Alabama match will be streamed on SEC Network +.
After two day-one games, the Roadrunners conclude the opening weekend with a game against McNeese State on Saturday, August 27, at 11 a.m.
Leading the Roadrunners
UTSA returns nine players from last year's roster, including middle blocker Amanda Ifeayani, who leads returners in kills as she had 136 last year (1.68 k/s). The Roadrunners also have another critical piece of their attack back in outside hitter Hunter Coppola who tallied 103 kills last season.
Courtney Walters returns as UTSA's setter, as the McKinney, Texas native led the squad in assists with 613 to her name. Walters also leads all returners in service aces as she recorded 23 in the 2021 campaign. Backup setter Makaila Aupiu also returns for the Roadrunners after turning in a freshman campaign where she totaled 185 assists.
Also amongst the returning Roadrunners is Mia Ybarra. Ybarra led the team in digs last season as she toted a final stat line of 359 on the season (4.17 d/s). Walters has the second most returning digs on the team with 178 (2.09 d/s).
Other returning Roadrunners include Courtney Aulbaugh, Brooke Hirsch, Kelsey Carpenter and Alicia Coppedge.
Series history
UTSA will meet Alabama for the first time in the two teams' history on Friday night. As for Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles and Roadrunners are familiar from their time shared in Conference USA. UTSA is 12-3 in all-time matches against USM and has only dropped 17 sets to USM in their 15 total meetings, holding a 38-17 set advantage. The last of the four teams that will be in Tuscaloosa is McNeese State. The Roadrunners and Cowgirls have met many times before and UTSA holds the all-time advantage, 24-18, which dates to 1991.
Scouting the field
Host school Alabama enters the tournament coming off a 2021 season that saw the Crimson Tide go 10-20 with a 2-16 conference record in the SEC.
McNeese State enters the field with the best record of any of the four programs from last season as the Cowgirls went 18-11 and 9-5 in the Southland.
Southern Miss comes off a 2021 campaign that saw the Golden Eagles go 11-17 overall with a 3-9 conference record in Conference USA. Last season, Southern Miss faced the Roadrunners twice and it won both matches 3-0 over UTSA.
UP NEXT: UTSA will be back in tournament action next weekend when they head to Lafayette, La. To participate in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic hosted by Louisiana Lafayette. Besides the host school Ragin' Cajuns, UTSA will also face off with UTRGV and North Dakota State over the weekend. The tournament action gets started for the Roadrunners on Friday, Sept. 2, when they begin the day with UTRGV at noon and later that afternoon when they face the Bison at 4 p.m. The following day, Saturday, Sept. 3, UTSA will square off with host program Louisiana Lafayette at noon.
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