UTSA welcomes trio of schools for Roadrunner Classic

Aliah Giroux Roadrunner Classic PreviewAliah Giroux Roadrunner Classic Preview

SAN ANTONIO — Following the program's best start to a campaign since the 2018 season, the UTSA volleyball team is set to host the Roadrunner Classic, inviting Lamar, Delaware, and Tarleton State into the Convocation Center for a two-day tournament. The Runners will first face Lamar at 10 a.m. on Friday to begin the classic, ahead of a 7 p.m. Hawaiian-themed contest with Delaware. UTSA will wrap things up in the Convo as they take on Tarleton State at 3 p.m. Saturday. 

For the Hawaiian-themed match, fans will be invited to participate in the raffling of an exclusive UTSA-branded Hawaiian shirt ahead of the Daddy-Daughter celebration on Saturday. 

The Roadrunners (3-0, 0-0 AAC) had a successful first weekend of competition, dropping just one set while picking up a trio of victories over Texas Southern, Missouri State, and Texas A&M-Commerce at the UTSA Invitational.

UTSA saw a handful of stellar performances in the opening act, with four being named to the All-Tournament team, including Tournament MVP Mia Soerensen. Soerensen logged double-digit kills across her first three UTSA appearances, totaling 34 on the weekend, while maintaining an incredibly efficient .368 hitting percentage. 

Joining Soerensen on the All-Tournament team, freshman Makenna Wiepert launched 12 service aces, a figure that ranks fourth nationally, while her aces-per-set mark of 1.2 sits third. She also posted 11.0 assists-per-set while helping the team record a .276 hitting percentage, the second-highest total among American Athletic Conference programs. 

In her collegiate debut, Wiepert dished out 35 assists and 10 digs for a double-double in a sweep over the Lady Tigers, ahead of a 33-assist performance in a three-set victory over the Bears. She wrapped things up, totaling 42 helpers in a four-set win against the Lions, concluding the weekend.

Defensively, the Roadrunners were aided by two more All-Tournament team selections in senior Aliah Giroux and sophomore Katelyn Krienke. UTSA held the opposition to a .113 hitting percentage, with Giroux managing a tournament-high 45 digs and Krienke boasting a team-best nine blocks. 

Lamar (0-2, 0-0 SLC) had a rough start to their 2023 campaign, falling in straight sets to Florida International and Maryland at the Canes Classic, despite logging more blocks-per-set than any other Southland Conference squad at 2.67. The figure was heavily aided by Wiktoria Warpechowska, who managed 1.33, with Sydnee Griffen and Gracie Cassidy joining her in averaging more than 1.0 block-per-set. 

Meanwhile, Delaware (3-0,0-0 CAA) hosted the Blue Hen Invitational last time out, earning victories over Loyola, Niagara, and Robert Morris without any matches advancing to a fifth set. A team that reached the Coastal Athletic Association's Tournament Championship last year, the Blue Hens picked up right where they left off, boasting three players on the NCAA's top-25 individual stats leader board. Kirah Johnson sits 12th in hitting percentage at .574 with 32 kills, while Savannah Seemans ranks 14th in service aces, recording nine. Rounding out the group, CAA Co-Rookie of the Week Asia Murray has posted 19 blocks through three games, for the 19th most in the nation. 

Tarleton State (1-3, 0-0 WAC) picked up a lone victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at their own Texan Invitational while taking both Prairie View A&M and UIW to five sets. Allison Brant had a stellar weekend, logging 63 kills for a 3.71 average-per-set, with Megan Hodges dishing out 107 assists. Mary Kate Stasevich represents the Texans' leading blocker with 29 across four games, while Matti Theurer logged 42 digs and Hodges 40. 

Keep up with UTSA Volleyball all season long on goutsa.com, and by following the program on Facebook at /UTSAVBall, Twitter @UTSAVolleyball, and on Instagram @utsa_vb.