DENTON, Texas — On Friday, the UTSA volleyball program suffered a 29-27, 25-19, 25-22 defeat at the hands of North Texas in American Athletic Conference action inside the North Texas Volleyball Center.
The Roadrunners (8-11, 1-6 AAC) fell to the Mean Green (11-10, 5-3 AAC) in their first of two matches with UNT on the weekend.
Sophomore Mia Soerensen provided the bulk of the 'Runners offense as she totaled 11 kills, marking the 12th occasion on the year in which she's accomplished double-digit terminations. Behind Soerensen, senior Cansu Günaydin and sophomore Caroline Kruger each managed seven, while Krueger recorded 12 digs.
Senior Aliah Giroux was the team leader in digs with 13, and freshman Makenna Wiepert in assists at 29. Meanwhile, freshman Miranda Putnicki logged more blocks than any other Roadrunners, sending back four of the opposition's attacks.
UTSA started off hot, using a kill by senior Alicia Coppedge to get out to a 4-0 lead early in the first. The 'Runners later went up 9-4 following a three-point spurt that featured multiple kills by Wiepert and an ace for Krueger. Back-to-back Krueger termination shortly after kept UTSA out in front midway through the set as the squad built a 15-9 advantage. The Mean Green then rattled off four of their own, trimming their deficit to two, before eventually working a 20-20 draw. The set remained deadlocked down the homestretch as a sophomore Katelyn Krienke kill kept the contest knotted at 27. UNT, however, managed to break the tie, claiming the frame, 29-27.
The Roadrunners again worked a 3-0 advantage, starting the second set off with multiple Soerensen kills. The Mean Green responded, scoring in seven of the subsequent eight rallies for a 7-4 lead. UNT then kept the Roadrunners at arms-length for the remainder of the stanza, winning the race to 20 before earning a 25-19 win.
UTSA used a Soerensen kill, an ace for Günaydin, and a Putnicki/Krueger block to take a 4-1 lead to open the third. UNT quickly tied the set ahead of a back-and-forth battle that saw an 8-8 score line. The Roadrunners then worked a 13-9 edge in a surge that saw multiple Günaydin terminations and a Wiepert ace. The Mean Green again answered, rattling off nine straight ahead of a 21-15 UNT advantage. UTSA threatened a comeback using multiple spurts and a block by junior Cheyenne Hlady and Putnicki to trim their deficit to two. UNT, however, found the put-away point with a 25-22 set win, securing a victory for the Mean Green.
The two schools will meet again on Sunday, with a 2 p.m. match on the docket inside the North Texas Volleyball Center.