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Career-High 19 points for Coppedge propels 'Runners past Golden Hurricane

The senior from Houston, Texas, recorded 14 kills and eight blocks

SAN ANTONIO — Senior Alicia Coppedge logged a career-high 19 points as the UTSA volleyball team took down Tulsa 25-11, 25-27, 25-15, 25-14 for their sixth consecutive win in American Athletic Conference action at the Convocation Center on Friday. 

The Roadrunners (14-11, 7-7 AAC) topped the Golden Hurricane (13-13, 6-8 AAC), as the squad managed a .295 hitting percentage while holding the opposition to just .032. Senior Cansu Günaydin and Coppedge did the bulk of the damage, with Günaydin's 15 kills pacing the team, while Coppedge posted 14 at a .571 clip. Additionally, sophomore Caroline Krueger joined the duo in the double-digit kill clip with 10. 

Freshman Miranda Putnicki and Coppedge tied for the match-high in blocks, each boasting eight, while junior Ellie Turner anchored the 'Runners with 17 digs. Not far behind, senior Aliah Giroux logged 12 in what represented her 23rd match in double-figures. Junior Mekaila Aupiu also led statistically, working 44 assists across the match. 

Krueger and Coppedge each posted multiple kills as the Roadrunners took an early 11-4 advantage to start the first set. Shortly after, Putnicki and Günaydin capped off a four-point surge with a block, extending the UTSA lead to 10. A Günaydin kill allowed the 'Runners to win the race to 20 and sparked a 5-0 run that concluded with a perfectly placed dump set by Aupiu for a 24-10 score line. Tulsa halted the rally before a Golden Hurricane miscue saw a 25-11 opening-set win for UTSA.

After a back-and-forth start to the second stanza, Tulsa embarked on an eight-score run en route to a 17-13 edge. The 'Runners then raced back, using a slew of Günaydin terminations to knot the frame at 22. Sophomore Katelyn Krienke fired a kill over the net and combined with Soerensen for a block that put UTSA up 25-24. The Golden Hurricane, however, found a way to score three consecutive points for a 27-25 victory. 

Now all tied at a set apiece, the Roadrunners bounced back and took a 10-3 lead courtesy of a 7-0 spurt that featured two kills and three blocks by Coppedge. Tulsa slowly whittled away at their deficit, forcing a UTSA timeout with the score 16-14 and still favoring the 'Runners. The team regrouped, ending the third set by scoring in the final seven rallies with a Krueger kill cementing a 25-15 win. 

A termination and a block for Günaydin allowed UTSA to take a 14-7 edge in the fourth that put the 'Runners in the driver's seat. A kill for Aupiu then saw a 20-12 score line, ahead of another successful attack by Günaydin that resulted in a 25-14 victory, as well as a match win for UTSA. 

The Roadrunners and the Golden Hurricane will meet again on Saturday, with a 2 p.m. first serve to kick-start Senior Day in the Convo.