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UTSA topples Tulane in three sets

The Roadrunners claimed a 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 victory inside the Convocation Center

SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA volleyball program picked up a 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 victory over Tulane in American Athletic Conference action inside the Convocation Center on Friday, as the squad managed a .248 hitting percentage and junior Mekaila Aupiu recorded her second consecutive double-double. Additionally, the 'Runners logged their eighth sweep of the season, a benchmark that was last achieved during the 2015 season, which saw the team go 24-9. 

The Roadrunners (10-11, 3-7 AAC) took down the Green Wave (4-17, 0-9 AAC), as Aupiu posted a match-high 35 assists to go along with 11 digs. 

Nobody in the Convo issued more kills than sophomore Mia Soerensen, who hammered 12 terminations, while senior Alicia Coppedge was not far behind, launching 12 successful attacks. Freshman Miranda Putnicki, meanwhile, topped the contest with five blocks, and senior Aliah Giroux paced the 'Runners with 14 digs. Junior Ellie Turner joined Giroux and Aupiu in the double-digit dig club with 11. 

UTSA led wire-to-wire across the first set, starting things off with a 6-1 surge capped off by a senior Cansu Günaydin ace. Back-to-back kills for Soerensen shortly after afforded the Roadrunners a 15-9 lead ahead of a Green Wave miscue that allowed UTSA to win the race to 20. Soerensen then polished off the set with a termination, securing a 25-17 win for the Roadrunners. 

The second stanza saw a back-and-forth battle ahead of a 14-14 tie that was broken by four straight UTSA points. An Aupiu ace later in the set concluded another 4-0 Roadrunner run, putting the squad up 22-16. Tulane kept fighting, claiming four of the following five rallies to trim their deficit to three. Now holding a 23-20 lead, Soerensen and Putnicki combined for a block, and Giroux rifled a service ace over the net for a 25-20 victory.

The Green Wave got off on the front foot in the third, using multiple spurts to take a 7-2 advantage. From there, a block by sophomore Caroline Kruger and Coppedge sparked a five-point UTSA run, with consecutive Coppedge kills knotting the frame at seven. After exchanging blows, a trio of Tulane errors and a first ball kill by Soerensen helped UTSA to a 16-11 lead, allowing the 'Runners to cruise to a 25-20 victory and the sweep. 

The Roadrunners and the Green Wave will meet again on Saturday, with a 2 p.m. first serve kick-starting Homecoming festivities in the Convo. 

Keep up with UTSA Volleyball all season long on, and by following the program on Facebook at /UTSAVBall, Twitter @UTSAVolleyball, and on Instagram @utsa_vb.