Volleyball goes 2-1 in Roadrunner Classic

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

A week after hosting the UTSA Invitational tournament, UTSA (5-7) hosted the Roadrunner Classic, another two-day tournament.  

The first game came on Friday afternoon against Houston Baptist University (HBU) (7-3), where UTSA won 3-2. The ‘Runners came out firing, quickly gaining an early lead on the Huskies. The first set was a wire-to-wire dominance, with UTSA winning 25-14. Courtney Walters had four kills and an ace in the set. The Roadrunners looked as if they were going to continue their aggression, when HBU came within a two-point deficit, trailing UTSA 17-15. There were four timeouts called from this point to the end of the set, two by each team. UTSA went up 23-18, then HBU made a run to cut the score to 24-23 when the Huskies hit the ball out of bounds. UTSA won 25-23, taking a 2-0 lead in the match. Kelsey Carpenter had seven kills thus far, while Walters had six. To prevent the sweep, the Huskies came out hard in the third set. The score was 9-9, then HBU went on a 5-0 run to make it 14-9. The score then became 19-12, then ultimately 25-17, in favor of the Huskies. HBU’s Jada Allen led the game through three sets with 10 kills, and teammate Audrey Pearce followed with eight of her own. The ‘Runners fought back to eventually tie the game at 19 but went on to lose 25-20, tying the series 2-2. The fifth and final set went back-and-forth, with a timeout being called with both teams tied at eight. UTSA outscored the Huskies 7-2 to win the set 15-11, taking the match 3-2. Carpenter had a team-high 15 kills, Cansu Günaydin had 11 and Alicia Coppedge had 10.  

Four hours after beating HBU, UTSA played Valparaiso (11-0), who beat the ‘Runners convincingly. The Roadrunners took an early lead in the match, however, once the Beacons pulled ahead they did not look back and won the set 25-17. Günaydin led the ‘Runners with five kills. Unfortunately for UTSA, the following two sets were more of the same. The lead got pushed to 20-13 and eventually was 25-16. Carpenter led the team in this set with five kills. UTSA fought for the third and final set, but once Valparaiso got above 17, they pulled away. The Beacons won the set 25-19, successfully sweeping UTSA. Günaydin led the team with 13 kills and an ace, followed by Carpenter with eight kills and two blocks.  

The third and final game of the tournament came on Saturday against San Antonio’s rival University of Incarnate Word (UIW) (1-9). Wanting another winning record in the home tournament, UTSA came out aggressive, which paid off in the end, beating the Cardinal 3-1. The first set went to extra points, with the Cardinal winning 29-27. Both the second and the third set were 25-21, with UTSA winning both of those to take a commanding 2-1 series lead. The fourth and final set was 25-16, giving the Roadrunners a back-to-back 2-1 record in their tournaments. Günaydin was the game leader in kills with 19, while Amanda Ifeanyi had 12 of her own along with five blocks. UTSA had 59 kills to UIW’s 42, along with a hitting percentage of .203 to the Cardinal .123.  

With conference play beginning, the UTSA volleyball team seems to be playing at a higher level. The ‘Runners’ next game is in Houston as UTSA plays Rice Friday, Sept. 23.