SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA volleyball team exited a 210-showdown victorious, as they took down UIW 25-21, 25-18, 25-17 at the McDermott Center in the opening match of the 2023 Cardinal Classic.
The Roadrunners (6-4, 0-0 AAC) swept the Cardinals (7-4, 0-0 SLC) as the team managed an incredibly efficient .330 hitting percentage to UIW's .090.
Nobody in the McDermott center blocked more of the opposition's attacks than sophomore Katelyn Krienke, who tied UTSA legend McKenzie Adams for the program record in block assists across a three-set match with eight.
Freshman Makenna Wiepert played a significant role in the victory as she logged a double-double, leading the match in assists, while tying for the most digs at 11 and aces, logging two. Additionally, Wiepert had the second-most blocks on the squad with four.
Sophomore Mia Soerensen was the match-leader in terminations, posting 13 at a .542 clip as Krienke joined her in the double-digit kill club with 10 at .529.
Things were close early in the first as the match saw multiple kills for Krienke and junior Faye Wilbricht en route to a 9-9 deadlock. Consecutive terminations for senior Alicia Coppedge and Wilbricht shortly after resulted in a 13-9 advantage for UTSA. The Cardinals pulled back within two, but multiple Roadrunner spurts helped the squad grow a 22-15 lead. UIW took a timeout and regrouped, whittling their deficit down to four. Still leading 23-19, UTSA closed out the frame with a Soerensen kill, sealing a 25-21 victory.
Back-to-back blocks for Krienke and Wiepert allowed UTSA to jump out to a 9-4 edge to open the second stanza. UIW then embarked on a 5-1 run to work a 10-9 score. The teams exchanged blows until UIW claimed their first lead of the set with four straight kills midway through. The Roadrunners tied things at 14 before consecutive blocks for Soerensen and Krienke capped off a four-point UTSA surge. A kill for Krienke then saw the Roadrunners win the race to 20, ahead of a 25-18 set win that placed UTSA one frame away from besting the opposition.
UTSA hit the ground running to begin the third, claiming the first three rallies on their way to a 7-1 lead. UIW won three straight points later in the set with a 12-8 score, inducing a Roadrunner timeout. UTSA then swiped five of the following six scores, rebuilding a 17-9 advantage. The Roadrunners then cruised to a sweep, using a final Soerensen kill to take the third set 25-17.
The 'Runners will be back in action on Friday, as they face Oral Roberts at 2 p.m. to wrap up the Cardinal Classic at the McDermott Center.