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Volleyball to visit Memphis and FAU as conference play continues

The Roadrunners will first face the Tigers at 1 p.m. on Friday, ahead of a noon start on Sunday against the Owls

SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA volleyball team is hitting the road, first visiting Memphis at the Larry O Finch Center with a 1 p.m. first serve on Friday before battling Florida Atlantic at noon on Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Roadrunners (11-11, 4-7 AAC) are back to .500 on the year after earning a pair of home victories over Tulane, as a handful of stellar performances helped the squad achieve a three-match winning streak. 

Junior Mekaila Aupiu posted the week's seventh-highest assist-per-set total in the AAC while helping the team to a stellar .230 hitting percentage that ranked fourth in the conference. She also logged a pair of double-doubles, first working 35 assists and 11 digs in a sweep, ahead of 34 assists and 10 digs in the four-set second match. 

Nobody on the squad launched as many successful attacks as sophomore Mia Soerensen, who recorded 26 at an incredibly efficient .302 clip. 

Defensively, senior Aliah Giroux was the anchor that held opponents to a .156 hitting percentage, delivering 4.71 digs per set for the fifth-most in the league. She also recorded an AAC-best 0.86 service aces per set across the contests. Additionally, freshman Miranda Putnicki was the team's blocking leader, boasting 1.57 per set. 

The Tigers (8-15, 4-7 AAC) are looking to bounce back after claiming just one set across two matches with East Carolina.

Rylee Busse currently leads the conference in aces, totaling 35, while Jordan Heatherly is one of only two members of the AAC to record a triple-double in the 2023 campaign. 

Heatherly tops the team with 292 assists, and Loren Robertson is not far behind recording 288. The bulk of those assists have led toward kills by Tabytha Toelke, who paces the group at 182. Abigail Sclueter, meanwhile, is the squad's leader in digs at 287 and Clara Bednarek in blocks boasting 71.

The Owls (13-10, 5-5 AAC) split last time out, first falling in four sets to UAB before bouncing back and sweeping the Blazers on the road. 

FAU leads the conference and ranks 15th nationally, with 12.87 assists per set, as Victoria Hensley tops the team at 715. The Owls also sit atop the league in kills per set at 13.84, a figure aided by Arianna Beckham who smashed 234 kills while Katelyn Robine, Valeria Rosado, and Kaila Ru join her in logging over one per set. Rue also serves as the Owl’s leader in blocks with 56. Additionally, Isabelle Northam sits fourth on the AAC digs leader board, halting 347 of the oppositions attacks.     

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