On Thursday, Sept. 5, the No. 8 ranked volleyball team in the nation, the Florida Gators, defeated the UTSA Roadrunners 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-20) at the Convocation Center in the opening day of the UTSA Classic Volleyball Tournament.
UTSA outside hitter McKenzie Adams paced the Roadrunners with a match-leading 13 kills and 10 digs in the loss.
“Not going to take anything away from them (Florida) but I thought we held our own,” Adams said.
In the first set, the Roadrunners and Gators traded leads to a 9-all tie before the Gators went on a 7-2 run, forcing a UTSA timeout. Following the timeout, however, the Gators continued to create more separation from the Roadrunners. UTSA rallied with Florida at match point, scoring three straight points to cut the lead to 24-18, but the Gators held off the Roadrunners for the 25-18 win.
UTSA started the second set on fire, taking an early 8-5 lead over Florida. Consistent errors helped the Gators’ tie the game at 10-all. Florida finished by going on a 15 -7 run, led by Gators’ setter Taylor Brauneis, who contributed 25 assists, seven digs and two kills in the victories. The Roadrunners committed 12 errors in the 25-17 loss.
With the Roadrunners in a 2-0 deficit, they began the third set with a quick 5-2 lead. But the trend of Gator rallies continued, and UTSA lost 25-20 in their closest match of the day.
UTSA Head Coach Laura Goff summed up the game stating, “They (Florida) didn’t make errors, they kept coming at us, and they usually won every rally. When you are playing against a team like that you have to win rallies to keep momentum on your side.”
On Friday, Sept. 6, the Roadrunners beat the Loyola Marymount Lions in three out of four sets (26-24) (18-25) (23-25) (21-25) at the Convocation Center. The win came on the second day of the tournament.
Senior McKenzie Adams led the team with 20 kills and 16 digs, including a match-winning hit to give the Roadrunners the overall victory. Junior outside hitter Dempsey Thornton added five kills and two blocks for UTSA.
“We focused on us. We didn’t let the first game distract us,” Adams said.
The Roadrunners fell behind early by six points, but went on a 9-1 run to take a 16-14 lead. The Lions answered by outscoring UTSA 12-8 for the comeback win.
Following the first defeat, UTSA came into the second set with a more up-tempo pace. The momentum of a 25-18 win in the second set continued as the Roadrunners won the third and fourth sets 25-23 and 25-21.
“Our confidence was great and we played like a team,” UTSA freshmen Dajana Boskovic said.
Overall UTSA tallied 30 blocks and 54 kills in the match.
UTSA Head Coach Laura Goff never sat down for a minute of the action.
“It is what we do on the side of the court that matters,” Groff said.
In the final game of the tournament, UTSA lost three of four sets to the Texas A&M Aggies.
The Roadrunners dropped the first two sets (25-22, 25-16) before winning the third (25-16). The Aggies dominated the final set 25-15, and UTSA fell to 3-4 on the season.
UTSA will play in Hilton Mavericks Classic Tournament starting on Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 24. The Roadrunners will face UT-Arlington, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Mississippi Valley State.
sissippi Valley State.