SAN ANTONIO — Senior Aliah Giroux logged the 1,000th dig of her collegiate career on Sunday, as the UTSA volleyball team fell to Temple, 25-23, 18-25, 28-30, 26-24, 15-6, in American Athletic Conference action at the Convocation Center.
The Roadrunners (8-10, 1-6 AAC) dropped a five set nail-bitter to the Owls (12-5, 3-3 AAC) despite double-double performances by sophomore Caroline Krueger and junior Mekaila Aupiu.
Senior Cansu Günaydin tied Krueger for the team-high in kills with 11, while Krueger also managed 10 digs and four aces.
Nobody in the Convo posted more assists than Aupiu who totaled 41 and dug 10 of the oppositions attacks. Giroux and freshman Peyton Tuner joined Krueger and Aupiu in the double-digit dig club with Giroux issuing a match-high 20 and Turner 11. Additionally, sophomore Katelyn Krienke, junior Cheyenne Hlady, sophomore Mia Soerensen, and senior Alicia Coppedge all recorded multiple blocks.
A Krienke kill kept things knotted at five early in the first set, as the teams exchanged blows ahead of a five-point Temple swing that allowed the Owls to go up by six. Now trailing, 12-6 UTSA rattled off six straight with an ace for Krienke tying the contest once more. UTSA would go on to take three-point lead as an ace for Giroux then saw a 19-16 score line. The ‘Runners won the race to 20, but Temple quickly evened the frame thanks to a three-score spurt. Shortly after, the Owls claimed a 25-23 first set win.
Soerensen and Krueger each logged terminations as UTSA claimed the first three rallies in the second stanza. Temple responded taking the next four creating a deadlock that wasn’t broken until an E. Turner ace, and kills courtesy of Krienke and Soerensen allowed UTSA to claim a 19-15 edge. Temple then took two points, ahead of four consecutive Roadrunner kills that helped the squad win the set, 25-18.
The teams went blow-for-blow to open the third set, until Temple broke a 14-14 tie with seven-score surge. Now trailing 21-14, UTSA scored three straight until an Owl kill broke the serve, resulting in a 22-17 score line. From there, Krueger logged a kill ahead of three consecutive service aces and a kill by Aupiu put UTSA back into the thick of it. Temple was the first to set point, but the ‘Runners kept battling until the Owls worked a 28-27 advantage and sought to end the frame. Krienke had other ideas, hammering back-to-back successful attacks over the net, before a Krueger kill cemented a 30-28 marathon set win for UTSA.
Temple embarked on a five-point surge in the fourth, working a 7-4 lead. The Roadrunners slowly whittled away at the deficit, twice coming within one as a kills for Coppedge and Günaydin saw an 18-17 score, still favoring the Owls. A Temple error then tied the contest, ahead of a Hlady kill and another Owl error that put UTSA in front 21-19. Temple then tied things up 24-24 inducing a win-by-two scenario. The Owls then claimed the following two points for s 26-24 victory that forced a fifth and deciding set.
Temple took a 5-3 lead to start the fifth, prompting a UTSA timeout. The Owls picked up right were they left off, scoring four straight out of the break. The Roadrunners broke the serve shortly after, before an ace for E. Turner resulted in a 10-6 score line still favoring Temple.
The Roadrunners now turn their attention towards North Texas as the squad visits The North Texas Volleyball Center in Denton, Texas with matches set for Friday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 15.