Volleyball extends losing streak to seven games


Photo courtesy of Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Coach Carol Price-Torok pep-talking her team.

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

UTSA volleyball lost its seventh straight game against No. 21 Rice and North Texas. This match was the second time this season the Roadrunners (7-16, 2-9 C-USA) lost to these two teams, and in turn, UTSA finds themselves at the bottom of the Conference USA standings. 

The ‘Runners played nationally ranked Rice (20-2, 10-0) on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Convocation Center. The Owls outscored the Roadrunners 75-38 in the three-set sweep. UTSA took their only commanding lead of the evening in the first set after they jumped out to a 6-2 lead; however, the Owls came back and took a 9-8 lead, and the two teams went back-and-forth until Rice closed on a 6-1 run, winning the set 25-18. Casu Günaydin had a set high for UTSA with six kills.

Rice continued their late run into the second set, taking an 11-6 lead to force UTSA to call a timeout. After another late Roadrunner timeout, Rice closed on a 5-3 run to 25-12 and went up 2-0 in the match. The Owls ended the ‘Runners’ hopes quickly as they jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the third set. UTSA only managed to score three more points as they lost the third and final set 25-8. 

Günaydin led UTSA with nine kills on the night, and Alicia Coppedge had eight. Mekaila Aupiu had 15 of the ‘Runners’ 25 assists, while Rice had 43 team assists. Danyle Courtley led the Owls with 13 kills to help lead Rice to a second sweep against UTSA on the season.

UTSA lost its first game of a two-game road trip to North Texas (12-13, 6-4) on Oct. 30. Having lost to the Mean Green in five sets two weeks prior, North Texas played with more dominance winning in four sets. UTSA won their only set in the first. The Roadrunners jumped out to a 9-5 lead, forcing North Texas to call a timeout. UTSA extended that lead to 22-14; however, the Mean Green rallied back to trail 24-23 and nearly tied the game. UNT had a serving error to give the ‘Runners their only win. 

There were 15 ties in the second set and seven different lead changes. As the teams tied at 23, North Texas rattled off two points to win the set 25-23 and tie the match. Coppola had four kills in the second set.

The Mean Green went up 6-1 in the third set to force UTSA to call a timeout. UTSA returned with a run of their own and took an 11-10 lead where UNT called a timeout. The score was tied at 17; however, North Texas went on an 8-2 to win 25-19. 

The final set was once again tight as the ‘Runners attempted to extend the match to a fifth set. The two teams were tied at 15 until North Texas went up 20-17. They would go on to win the set 25-22 and the match 3-1. Aupiu had 23 assists, while Courtney Walters had 22 along with team-high three aces. The two combined for 45 of the 48 total UTSA assists. Coppedge had 12 kills, her sixth double-digit kill game of the season. 

UTSA will play against UAB at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 in Birmingham, Alabama.