SAN ANTONIO — On Sunday, the UTSA volleyball program suffered a 25-19, 25-16, 30-28 setback to No. RV SMU as the team celebrated Family Day at the Convocation Center.
The Roadrunners (8-6, 1-2 AAC) fell to the Mustangs (9-5, 3-0 AAC) despite a handful of impressive defensive performances by senior Alicia Coppedge, classmate Aliah Giroux, and sophomore Caroline Krueger.
Nobody in the Convo logged more blocks than Coppedge, who denied eight of the opposition's attacks, while Giroux paced the match in digs logging 16. Not far behind the UTSA libero, Krueger recorded a career-high in digs with 15. Additionally, Coppedge's eight blocks allowed her to tie Roadrunner legend McKenzie Adams and sophomore Katelyn Krienke's program record for block assists in a three-set match, a benchmark Krienke achieved against UIW on Sep. 14.
Offensively, senior Faye Wilbricht issued nine successful attacks, sophomore Mia Soerensen eight, and Coppedge seven. Freshman Makenna Wiepert and junior Mekaila Aupiu set the table for the Roadrunners, each boasting double-digit assists as Wiepert totaled 20 and Aupiu 11.
A back-and-forth battle began the first set as Soerensen logged a trio of blocks en route to a 7-7 score line. A pair of Wilbricht kills then bookended a three-point UTSA spurt that allowed them to snag a slim 13-12 advantage. SMU quickly equalized and strung together three terminations to take a 20-17 lead, inducing a Roadrunner timeout. The Mustangs rally continued, as they claimed a 25-19 victory.
SMU got off to a hot start opening second stanza, scoring nine of the first 10 points in the set. UTSA didn't go down without a fight, whittling away at their deficit and using a four-point swing that saw multiple Coppedge kills and a Wilbricht termination to work a 16-13 score. The Mustangs replied, scoring five of their own, eventually taking the frame 25-16.
A kill and a block for junior Cheyenne Hlady allowed UTSA to take a 4-1 lead early in the third as the Roadrunners looked to extend the match to a fourth set. SMU then scored in eight consecutive rallies, reflecting an 8-4 Mustang edge. The opposition's advantage grew to five, but UTSA did not go quietly, using terminations by Coppedge, Krueger, and Hlady to surge to a 16-14 lead. SMU answered with a run of their own ahead of a 22-20 score line favoring the Mustangs. Wilbricht and Soerensen recorded consecutive kills, knotting the contest at 22. The squads again exchanged blows before another Wilbricht termination saw a 28-28 tie. SMU then logged back-to-back kills, securing a 30-28 win as well as the match.
UTSA will now hit the road as the squad travels to Houston, with two matches awaiting against Rice. The Roadrunners and Owls will first meet on Friday at 6 p.m. inside the Tudor Fieldhouse, ahead of a 1 p.m. matchup on Saturday.