UTSA tops Central Arkansas; ends their conference streak

The Roadrunners extended their winning streak to 10, this weekend when they defeated the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears in four sets (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19) Saturday, Oct. 30.

“The last time they lost was two years ago, and we beat them at their place, so it’s just unbelievable to think that they’ve had such a streak and we’ve broken it twice,” Head Coach Laura Groff said of snapping the Sugar Bears’ winning streak.

The Roadrunners, who were led by Kendra Rowland (16 kills) and Brian Mason (14 kills) on attack, held the Sugar Bears to a .151 hitting percentage for Saturday’s win. 

Through the first set, the Sugar Bears kept the Roadrunners on their toes by staying just one point behind them. At 15-14, the Roadrunners  went on a 6-0 run and extended their lead to seven at 20-14. Towards the end of the set, the Sugar Bears snuck in some points and took down the lead to 21-17, but a service error by the Sugar Bears brought the lead to five.  At the end of the set, a service error by the Sugar Bears and a kill by Andee Josserand gave the Roadrunners the win.

Both teams kept the score close in the second set, but an attack error by the Roadrunners gave the Sugar Bears the lead; it wouldn’t be theirs for long.  However, the Roadrunners gained the lead immediately after kills by Rowland and Mason.  Errors by the Sugar Bears, towards the end of the set gave the Roadrunners a six-point lead at 24-18.  With the Roadrunners two points away from victory, the Sugar Bears scored twice to put the score at 24-20, but a final error by the Sugar Bears closed the set at 25-20.

After intermission the Sugar Bears came back recharged and opened scoring to put themselves at 2-0 in the set.  The Roadrunners were quick to tie the game at five, before going on a 3-0 run to lead them 8-5. After being tied at 7, the Sugar Bears took a two-point lead. A kill by Rowland put the Roadrunners within one point of the Sugar Bears  and then a couple of kills by Mason gave the Roadrunners the lead at 12-11. At 18 all the Roadrunners went on a 3-0 run to give them the lead at 21-18.  The Sugar Bears inched their way closer to the Roadrunners and tied the game at 21. Eventually a ball handling error and attack error by the Sugar Bears  gave the Roadrunners the points they needed to win the set.

The Sugar Bears came out to a quick start and took a 3-0 lead. They quickly extended their lead to 5-1.  Although the Roadrunners started the set down, they were able to rally and tie the game at six.  After the tie the Roadrunners took a 9-7 lead.  The Sugar Bears were able to catch up to the Roadrunners at 12, but the Sugar Bears, committed four consecutive attack errors to give the Roadrunners a 17-12 lead. The Roadrunners were a point  away from handing the Sugar Bears their first defeat in conference play, but the Sugar Bears were able to sneak in some last minute points to hold the Roadrunners to three match points before a kill by Mason ended the set. The Sugar Bears suffered their first defeat.

“We just need to keep working hard at everything that we do and  keep getting better keep improving,” Rowland said after the game. ” I think that the rest of the conference is ours to take right now. It’s all on us; destiny is in our hands.”

The Roadrunners have clinched a SLC Tournament berth and will be playing against Northwestern State at UTSA, Thursday Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m.