Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA dominates in Cardinal Classic


Katelyn Krienke and Mia Soerensen soared through the Cardinal Classic as top attackers for the UTSA volleyball team to claim not one win, but two-straight wins over fellow birds, the UIW Cardinals and the ORU Golden Eagles. 

The tournament took place at UIW’s McDermott Convocation Center. The Roadrunners defeated both teams in three sets each.

Soerensen landed 13 kills in the first match and Krienke did not trail too far behind with ten kills. With 34 stellar assists from freshman setter Makenna Wiepert, the ‘Runners took every opportunity that flew their way.

Soerensen was a set-ending-figure during this first match as a spike from her ended both the first and third set. Any time the ball was set to her, she would get a kill, yet she credited the coaching staff for her being able to do this.

“I think the coaches are really good at scouting where we can be successful on the court,” Soerensen said. “Also being able to get set that many times just goes out to my team because they are the ones that are doing all the hard work to get us there.”

Long volleys made up for most of the time accounted for in the first two sets, and each set was won by a bigger lead throughout the match. The team highly credited communication for that.

“Communication is a huge thing. We talked about that all week in practice,” Wiepert said. “Communication, and just doing your job and doing it diligently.” 

Despite her freshman status, Wiepert was an ever present force for the team and was able to pick up nearly every ball that came her way and turn it into a playable moment.

“We all have different roles on the team so just doing it to the best of your abilities and trusting your teammates, it all falls into place,” Wiepert said. 

The third set against the Cardinals had the biggest lead for the ‘Runners as the final score was 25-17. This was also the quickest set and the set where many sideouts were made. Nonetheless, the team persevered to gain their first win in three games. It certainly did not stop Krienke from maintaining a positive outlook to focus on an even more positive outcome. 

Krienke would spike a ball while mustering the most serious face. You would see her present all night and then turn around, jump into her teammates’ arms and cheer along with them with the biggest smile on her face.

“Honestly for me, it’s just a next ball mentality. If you make a mistake, it’s okay,” Krienke said. “It’s about going out and just having that fire because when you’re positive, when you obviously have a lot of energy, everybody feeds off of it. I just keep a big smile on my face and I channel my inner cheerleader.”

The ‘Runners certainly maintained that positive mentality as they went in for their second match of the weekend against the Golden Eagles. Soerensen and Krienke maintained their positions as top attackers for the team. 

Soerensen brought in another 13 kills and Krienke followed with 12 kills herself along with 39 assists from Wiepert. The team quickly went two for two in this classic. The ‘Runners second match was won in three sets as well. 

The three women largely credited their coaching staff to these wins and head coach Carol Price-Torok felt no different about her staff. “I think it’s Ryan [Vorderer], Casey [Shingler] and Audrey [Smith]. They do a lot of work in film and are really, really well prepared for this opportunity,” Price-Torok said. 

“I think our players do a great job watching film and we just try to keep things really simple. We know ‘this is what we need to do to slow them down and not let their best players have a game.’ We try to execute on our side of the ball and try to keep that routine all the time,” Price-Torok said. “I thought they did a really great job defensively.”

All in all, these two matches won made for a great success for head coach Price-Torok as she received her 100th career win. 

UTSA’s next match will be played in Charlotte, North Carolina at 5 p.m. Wednesday against Charlotte, followed by two home matches against SMU at 6 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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