SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA volleyball program impressed in the opening match of the 2023 Roadrunner Classic as they defeated Lamar 25-12, 25-23, 25-14, with sophomores Katelyn Krienke and Mia Soerensen each posting double-digit kills, while Krienke boasted an incredibly efficient .786 hitting percentage.
The Roadrunners (4-0, 0-0 AAC) bested the Cardinals (0-3, 0-0 SLC) in the battle of the birds as UTSA picked up its fourth win out of four, marking the program's best start to a season since 2015 when the squad went 24-9 and reached the Conference-USA Tournament Championship.
A significant role in the Roadrunner's success was efficient attacking, as the team posted a .370 hitting percentage to Lamar's .141. Soerensen led the match in kills, logging 12, and tied senior Alicia Coppedge for the lead in blocks at 4. Krienke was not far behind on the kill leader board, boasting 11, while freshman Makenna Wiepert topped the charts with 38 assists. Additionally, senior Aliah Giroux logged 15 digs for the most in the match, and sophomore Carolina Krueger joined her in the double-digit club with 11.
UTSA jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first set in a run that saw five different Roadrunner’s record kills. Shortly after, terminations by Krienke and Krueger combined with a Wiepert block to hand UTSA a 17-8 edge. LU then strung three together for a 17-11 score line, ahead of a four-point UTSA swing featuring an ace by Krueger and three straight junior Faye Wilbricht kills. Now firmly in the driver’s seat, the Runners' wasted no time claiming a 25-12 set win.
After trading points to open the second stanza, UTSA put up five straight in a surge that saw multiple Coppedge kills and a 7-2 Roadrunner edge. A Cardinal point broke the streak before Soerensen and Coppedge combined for a block, and each recorded kills en route to a 10-3 lead. Lamar then whittled their deficit to three, reflecting a 16-13 score line. Back-to-back Soerensen terminations rebuilt the Runners' edge, but LU responded quickly, working a 21-21 tie and inducing a UTSA timeout. Lamar took the next rally, ahead of three straight junior Cheyenne Hlady kills that put the Roadrunners up 24-22. A UTSA miscue handed LU the following point; however, a massive block by Krienke secured a 25-23 set win for the Runners'.
Things were close early in the third as the scoreboard showed an 8-8 tie before UTSA embarked on a six-score rally with multiple Soerensen kills as well as a freshman Peyton Turner ace, handing the Roadrunners a 13-8 edge. From there, UTSA polished things off, taking advantage of a Cardinal attacking error to earn a 25-14 victory and their third sweep of the season.
The Roadrunners will now face Delaware in a 7 p.m. Hawaiian-themed match on Friday in the Convocation Center. As a part of the event, fans will be able to participate in a raffle for an exclusive UTSA Hawaiian shirt.