Vashaun Newman

Roadrunners best Bears, 3-0, to cap off Day One of UTSA Invitational

SAN ANTONIO — For the first time since the 2018 season, the UTSA volleyball program has begun its season with consecutive wins as they took down Missouri State, 3-0, to cap off a successful inaugural day of the 2023 UTSA Invitational at the Convocation Center. 


"I think we went as Makenna Wiepert went today, said coach Carol Price-Torok following six consecutive set victories. "We saw some really good stuff from our transfer Mia Soerensen. She's really a force being a lefty on the outside, but a really overall spread offense. We're moving people around and getting a lot of people touches on the ball, and that's going to make us a lot harder to stop, so it's really fun." 
The Roadrunners (2-0, 0-0 AAC) cruised past the Bears (1-1, 0-0 MVC) thanks to a handful of dominant performances, including that of senior Aliah Giroux, who posted a match-high 22 digs that also ties Annie Kunes for the seventh-best three-set performance in the rally scoring era. Freshman Makenna Wiepert has recorded four service aces for the second time in as many games while logging over 30 assists in both contests as well, managing 32 against MSU. 
Sophomore Mia Soerensen was the game's most dominant attacker, launching 11 kills as junior Faye Wilbricht recorded eight and sophomore Katelyn Krienke seven. Senior Alicia Coppedge paced the team in blocks, halting the opposition three times, while Soerensen logged two. 
The Bears jumped out to a 6-4 lead to open the first set before a kill and an ace by sophomore Caroline Krueger sparked a four-point swing that delivered an 8-6 UTSA edge. MSU swiped a point, but the Roadrunners picked up right where they left off, using an ace by Wiepert and back-to-back kills by Soerensen to extend their lead to six. Now trailing 14-8, MSU clawed back to within three as consecutive terminations saw a 17-14 score, still favoring UTSA. Things remained close down the stretch, with a kill by Coppedge putting the Runners' up 23-19. After trading rallies, Krienke then polished off the set with a kill of her own for a 25-21 UTSA win, 
The Roadrunners led wire-to-wire across the second set, as kills by Coppedge, Wilbricht, and Wiepert resulted in a 4-0 lead. An ace by Giroux, ahead of a block by Sorensen and Krienke, extended the edge and helped the Roadrunners go up 11-3. UTSA kept their foot on the gas, surging for six straight rallies with back-to-back aces by Wiepert, affording the squad a 22-10 edge. Soerensen closed the set with a kill, securing a 25-12 win for the Runners'.
It was more of the same in the third set, with multiple Coppedge blocks helping UTSA to a 5-0 start. A six-point run bookended by Krienke kills shortly after handed the Roadrunners a 13-3 edge. Running away with it, UTSA was up 23-12 before MSU rattled off seven of the following eight points. Wilbricht, however, launched a successful attack, capping off a 25-19 win that cemented UTSA's second sweep of the day. 
The Roadrunners will look to remain unbeaten as competition at the UTSA Invitational concludes Saturday, with a contest against Texas A&M-Commerce at 2 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. 

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