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UTSA visits Buies Creek, N.C., for Campbell Invitational

Matches are on the docket against Georgia Southern, Campbell, and San Jose State

SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA volleyball program is headed for Buies Creek, N.C., to compete in the Fairfield Inn and Suites Campbell Invitational, with competition for the Roadrunners slated to begin on Friday. The squad will first take on Georgia Southern at 10 a.m., ahead of a 6 p.m. matchup with host school Campbell. UTSA will conclude their competition at Gore Arena with a 10 a.m. matchup on Saturday before returning to the Alamo City. 

The Roadrunners (4-2, 0-0 AAC) picked up a lone victory last time out, sweeping Lamar 25-12, 25-23, 25-14 before falling in four sets to Delaware and Tarleton State in five at the Roadrunner Classic. Sophomore Katelyn Krienke put together a solid weekend offensively, posting 26 kills at an incredibly efficient .486 hitting percentage and adding nine blocks for 36.5 total points. Classmate Mia Soerensen led the team in kills, logging 36, while senior Alicia Coppedge boasted a team-high 18 blocks. 

On the season, sophomore Makenna Wiepert leads the American Athletic Conference in assists-per-set with 10 and sits second in aces-per-set at 0.68. Additionally, she ranks 11th nationally in total aces at 15.

Meanwhile, Georgia Southern (5-0, 0-0 SBC) picked up a trio of wins at their own invitational, beating George Washington and Stetson in straight sets and dropping just one frame against College of Charleston. The Eagles have gone undefeated thus far, tying their program record for most consecutive wins to start a season with five. 

A significant reason for the team's success has been the play of Jillian Gray, who ranks fourth in the Sun Belt with a hitting percentage of .382 to go along with 49 kills. Jordan Cristy, Chamblee Russell, and Reagan Barth have all eclipsed 30-plus terminations on the year, the bulk of which came on the end of Kristen Barrett sets, with Barrett posting a team-high 97 assists. Running a 6-2, Cason Callaway makes up the other half of the tandem with 77 helpers on the year. 

Campbell (2-5, 0-0 CAA) hosts the tournament and is riding a two-game winning streak of their own, topping North Carolina Central this past Tuesday in a five-set thriller that represented their home opener. Ahead of the victory over the Eagles, Campbell competed at the Pirate Invitational, where they bested Bethune-Cookman and fell to East Carolina and Appalachian State. 

Anchoring the Camel defense, Claranne Fechter has logged 108 digs on the season for the most in the CAA, while Aley Clent and Melody Paige are the team's top blockers, with Clent managing 24 and Paige 23 blocks. 

San Jose State (4-2, 0-0 MW) recently competed at the Hornet Invitational, taking down Cal State Fullerton in straight sets and picking up a win over Portland on the weekend. They've suffered just two losses on the year, falling to Santa Clara and Sacramento State, as they've held the opposition to a .156 hitting percentage. 

Jiana Lawson has been the CAA's leading blocker, averaging 1.45 blocks per set and recording 32 on the season. Alessia Buffagni has also played a significant role in the Spartans' defensive success, leading the team in digs with 73. Blair Fleming and Nayeli Ti'a provide the firepower offensively, as Fleming has launched 77 successful attacks and Ti'a 52.

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.