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Volleyball surfs Green Wave for Homecoming victory

UTSA took down Tulane 25-20, 25-14, 15-25, 25-19

SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA volleyball program dropped just one set on the weekend as they bested Tulane 25-20, 25-14, 15-25, 25-19 in American Athletic Conference action on Saturday inside the Convocation Center.

The Roadrunners (11-11, 4-7 AAC) downed the Green Wave (4-18, 0-10 AAC), as sophomore Mia Soerensen posted a match-high 14 kills at a .313 clip. Senior Cansu Günaydin was not far behind, launching 12 successful attacks, while sophomore Caroline Krueger was two terminations shy of a double-double. Senior Mekaila Aupiu, however, achieved the feat as she recorded 34 assists and 10 digs. 

Senior Aliah Giroux led the contest in both aces and digs with five perfectly placed serves and 19 digs. Additionally, junior Ellie Turner aided the defense with 12 digs, while freshman Miranda Putnicki boasted six blocks and Soerensen five. 

A kill for Krueger and back-to-back aces for E. Turner allowed UTSA to snag an early 8-5 advantage in the first frame. Tulane trimmed their deficit to one ahead of a Günaydin termination, and an ace for Aupiu that bookended a four-point run and put the ‘Runners up 15-10. Another 4-0 stretch featuring multiple Günaydin kills then placed UTSA firmly in front, as she added one final termination to cement a 25-20 opening set victory. 

The Roadrunners remained hot, scoring the first seven points of the second stanza in a streak that saw a kill and solo block for Putnicki, as well as terminations for Soerensen and Günaydin. From there, UTSA kept the opposition at arm's length before scoring the set's final three points with a Giroux ace, resulting in a 25-14 win. 

Tulane got off to a solid start in the third, working a 9-4 edge. From there, a kill and ace for sophomore Katelyn Krienke combined with a successful Günaydin attack to bring the 'Runners within three. The Green Wave, however, rebuilt their advantage and eventually took the set, 25-15. 

The opposition picked up right where they left off in the fourth, getting out to a 5-0 lead before UTSA surged back with a pair of Günaydin kills en route to a 5-4 score. The set remained close as the Roadrunners used a five-point run capped off by a Soerensen kill for a 20-18 edge. A Green Wave score halted the rally prior to another spurt that saw a trio of Giroux aces secure a 25-19 UTSA victory. 

The Roadrunners will look to keep the momentum going as they visit Memphis with a 1 p.m. showdown awaiting on Friday, ahead of a noon contest in Boca Raton, Florida with Florida Atlantic at noon. 

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.