Vashawn Newman

UTSA splits on Day One of Roadrunner Classic

The Runners’ fell, 3-1, to Delaware in their second match of the tournament

SAN ANTONIO — After sweeping Lamar to open up the day, the UTSA volleyball team suffered their first defeat of the season, as Delaware bested the Runners’ 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16, as a part of the Roadrunner Classic at the Convocation Center. 

“I thought our middles played well,” said coach Carol Price-Torok following the match. “We came out fast and they made adjustments … we need to do a better job countering and with a young squad we have to keep playing hard and learn from this as our schedule gets tougher. Cheyenne Hlady and Mekaila Aupiu also looked good and gave us a different look in a 6-2 so we’ll take what we can and move forward.”

The Roadrunners (4-1, 0-0 AAC) fell to the Blue Hens (5-0, 0-0 CAA), despite a solid performance by sophomore Katelyn Krienke, who logged a team-high 10 kills at an efficient .474 clip, with a pair of blocks and a match-best four service aces. In tandem with Krienke, fellow middle blocker Alicia Coppedge boasted five blocks, while freshman Makenna Wiepert and junior Mekaila Aupiu each logged double-digit assists, with Wiepert managing 30 and Aupiu 12. Additionally, senior Aliah Giroux tied Lani Mason of UD for the match-lead in digs with 11. 

Krienke logged three consecutive aces early in the first set to give UTSA a quick 8-2 lead. The Roadrunners then kept the opposition at arm’s length using back-to-back UD miscues to take a 19-12 lead. The Blue Hens responded, scoring the next two, ahead of a kill by sophomore Mia Soerensen and an ace for freshman Peyton Turner that resulted in a 21-15 score. UD continued battling, claiming the following three rallies to induce a Roadrunner timeout with UTSA’s lead cut to four. The teams exchanged blows before UTSA took their second timeout with a 24-22 edge. Following the break, sophomore Caroline Krueger fired one over the net, delivering a 25-22 set victory for the Roadrunners. 

A back-and-forth start to the second stanza saw a 10-10 tie, ahead of a Coppedge termination that handed UTSA a one-score edge. UD then claimed the subsequent three rallies to go up 13-11. Again trading blows, the Roadrunners used another Coppedge kill and a Soerensen termination to knot things up at 19. UD regrouped following a timeout, scoring in five of the final six rallies to win the set 25-21.

The Blue Hens gained an 8-4 advantage to begin the third, with a junior Faye Wilbricht block, as well as kills by Soerensen and Krienke, keeping the Roadrunners within striking distance. With UD leading 12-9, a termination by junior Cheyenne Hlady sparked a three-point surge that resulted in a 12-12 tie. The Blue Hens took a timeout prior to a Krueger kill that handed UTSA their first lead of the frame. UD responded promptly, scoring in each of the next five rallies and regaining a 17-13 edge. UTSA cut their deficit to three on a Coppedge kill, ahead of an ace for Aupiu for a 23-21 score still favoring the Blue Hens. UD took a timeout and picked up a point on the next serve. Hlady and Coppedge then logged consecutive kills, pulling UTSA within one, but a Kirah Johnson kill resulted in a 25-23 win for UD. 

The Blue Hens took a 10-5 lead to open the fourth frame, later stretching their advantage to nine, ahead of a UD miscue and a Giroux ace seeing a 17-10 Blue Hen edge. UD then won the race to 20, taking a nine-point lead in the process. UTSA battled back to within six, as an ace for Wiepert resulted in a 22-16 score line still favoring the Blue Hens. UD finished off the match, logging three more points and earning a 25-16 victory in the final set.

The Runners’ now turn their attention toward Tarleton State, with UTSA set to face the Texans in a 3 p.m. showdown to wrap up the Roadrunner Classic on Daddy Daughter Day at the Convo.

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.