Volleyball ties school record with 10th straight sweep

Roadrunner volleyball 10/22/11

The Roadrunners continued their domination of Southland Conference opponents with a home sweep of the Lamar Cardinals (25-15, 25-14, 25-18), Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Convocation Center.

The victory was the Roadrunners’ tenth consecutive sweep against conference opponents, adding to their conference record streak and tying the school record for most consecutive sweeps, set back in 1987.

“It’s always nice to break records and be in the record books, but we want to remain on our goal which is to go 16-0 and win the conference,” Head Coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff said. “I am impressed by the team’s growth as a unit and their chemistry.”

The Roadrunners established their presence early in the opening set. Sophomore McKenzie Adams continued her impressive performance this season with five kills in set one. Junior Kelsey Schwirtlich kept the team’s offense running smoothly with two kills of her own and 10 assists.

The second set showcased how many skilled players the Roadrunners have this year. Freshman Dempsey Thornton gave her offensive contribution with five kills in the set and juniors Brittney Malloy and Whitney Walls added three kills each. Schwirtlich out did her first set performance with 11 assists in the second set.

Set three was the most competitive of the match. The Cardinals came out determined to push the Roadrunners to a fourth set, but senior Elise Huskey had other plans. Huskey powered the Roadrunners’ offense with six of her seven kills in the final set for the complete sweep of another Southland Conference opponent. Schwirtlich tallied an impressive 36 assists for the match. UTSA’s second all-time digs leader, Kelsey Jewasko, was a constant defensive presence with 16 digs in the match.

“You can’t ask for a better first touch with Jewasko and a better second touch with Schwirtlich; we have a great battery going with those two,” Groff said. Schwirtlich is averaging 10.6 assists per set, a constant contributor to the smooth and effective Roadrunners’ offense.

Some of the players attribute their team chemistry and trust in each other as key factors to this year’s success. “We don’t have to talk, and we know where everyone is on the court just because we feel so comfortable with each other,” Schwirtlich said. “As for the assists, if I didn’t have such a great defense behind me, I would never have that, so I would have to thank them for that.”

A big factor of that great defense has been the extraordinary performance of San Antonio native and team captain Jewasko. Jewasko leads the Roadrunners in digs, 442, and digs per set, 5.46. “I can’t even tell you how much fun I’m having this season. The team is everything you want, everything you hope for and more,” Jewasko said.

The Roadrunners will go on a long four-match road trip before returning to the Convocation Center on Nov. 10 to face conference rival Texas State.