WICHITA, Kan. — The UTSA volleyball program suffered a 25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18 defeat at the hands of Wichita State on Friday in American Athletic Conference play at Charles Koch Arena, despite impressive defensive performances by senior Aliah Giroux and sophomore Mia Soerensen.
The Roadrunners (15-12, 8-8 AAC) fell to the Shockers (18-7, 12-3 AAC), as Giroux led the match with 24 digs and Soerensen in blocks with eight. Additionally, junior Mekaila Aupiu logged a double-double, totaling 36 assists and 10 digs across the contest.
Soerensen led the way offensively for UTSA to the tune of 14 kills, while seniors Cansu Günaydin and Alicia Coppedge each posted 10. Aiding in the defensive effort, Coppedge worked five blocks of her own, and junior Ellie Turner matched Aupiu with 10 digs.
A kill for sophomore Caroline Krueger gave the 'Runners a quick 7-4 advantage to open the first frame before WSU battled back and knotted the contest at nine. An E. Turner ace allowed UTSA to regain a 15-12 lead, but the Shockers again tied things up as the teams exchanged blows down the stretch. Back-to-back WSU blocks put the Shockers up by two, ahead of a Natalie Foster kill that secured a 25-23 win for Wichita State.
WSU took an 8-5 lead before consecutive Günaydin kills sparked a six-point UTSA surge, putting the Roadrunners up 11-8 in the second. A Soerensen kill shortly after allowed UTSA to lead by five, but the Shockers didn't go quietly, working a 22-21 score line that still favored the 'Runners. From there, Krueger hammered a kill over the net, and Giroux logged an ace, positioning UTSA one point away from a second-set victory. A WSU miscue then saw a 25-21 win for the Roadrunners.
After a back-and-forth start to the third, Wichita State earned a 14-9 lead thanks to multiple scoring spurts. UTSA fought back to within one in a stretch that saw multiple Coppedge blocks, but the Shockers recovered, eventually winning the race to 20. Now up 20-15, WSU cruised to a 25-18 win, placing them one step closer to a victory.
The Shockers surged to open the fourth, claiming 10 of the first 12 rallies before building a 20-12 advantage. UTSA continued battling throughout the set before falling 25-18 and allowing Wichita State to claim the match.
UTSA will remain at Charles Koch Arena on Saturday, with the squads facing each other once more at 1 p.m.