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

Soerensen’s 26 kills leads UTSA past Tulane over the weekend

Volleyball wins back-to-back home games over Tulane at Convocation Center

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA sophomore opposite hitter Mia Soerensen compiled 26 kills against Tulane, winning in a sweep on Friday and in four sets on Saturday in the Convocation Center.

“The girls did a really good job at figuring out their path to a win,” said assistant head coach Casey Shingler. “What we saw in North Texas, we carried over into practice this week.”

With the win, the Roadrunners (11-11, 4-7) jumped to 10th in the American Athletic Conference standings while Tulane (4-18, 0-10) fell to last place in the standings.

The Roadrunners beat the Green Wave in three sets 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 during Friday’s match.

UTSA established its dominance in the first set with an early lead. After the Green Wave scored the match’s first point, the ‘Runners rattled off six straight points and extended the lead to 15-9 before Tulane called it first timeout. UTSA held on for the 25-17 set win.

Soerensen once again led the team in kills with a total of 12 kills in the first match followed by 14 kills during the second match. 

“They make it so easy,” said Soerensen. “My middles, they just hold the blocks so well. I think the adjustments we are making are working.” 

The team has made some lineup adjustments since their last home game. A now healthy junior setter Mekaila Aupiu replaced freshman Makenna Wiepert while middle blocker Alicia Coppedge replaced an injured Katelyn Krienke. 

Aupiu racked up a combined total of 69 assists during the two matches which contributed to the team winning volleys during the matches.

“It feels amazing. The first game, we won in a sweep,” Aupiu said. “Last weekend we turned things around in five sets so to win at home and with a sweep is really amazing.”

The ‘Runners returned, this time beating Tulane in four sets on Saturday’s match, 25-20, 25-14, 15-25, 25-19.

With the help of Aupiu and middle blocker Miranda Putnicki, the ‘Runners created opportunities for themselves to have long volleys despite some of the sets being cut short due to Saturday’s win.

“They are a tough team because they have so many different matchups that they try to exploit,” said Shingler of Tulane’s offense. “It’s about the adjustments. They got a good glimpse of us and some of our strengths and so I [knew] they were gonna come back but we did the same. The type of offense we were able to distribute went pretty well. So as long as we can continue to hit pretty clean, we’ll be good.”

UTSA’s two wins over the weekend were the ‘Runners first wins in the Convocation Center since Sept. 2. 

UTSA will head back on the road to face Memphis at 1 p.m. Friday at the Finch Center. The Roadrunners will then travel to Boca Raton to face Florida Atlantic at 12 p.m. on Sunday at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena against.

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Haley Aguayo, Assistant Sports Editor
Haley (she/her) is a senior at UTSA who is majoring in digital communications and minoring in marketing and will be graduating in December 2024. She joined The Paisano in the spring of 2023 and primarily writes for the sports section. Haley has since become the assistant sports editor at The Paisano. After she graduates, she hopes to work in sports journalism or do in-house marketing for a professional sports team.
Genevieve Vega, Staff Writer

Genevieve (she/her) is a second-year Biomedical Engineering student. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school for Biomedical Engineering. She joined The Paisano in Fall 2022. In her free time she enjoys being with family and friends, doing arts and crafts, reading and watching TV.

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