Roadrunners win all three sets against Pirates on Senior Night

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On a night when the UTSA volleyball team celebrated the senior class, the Roadrunners fittingly delivered their 12th conference win of the season in a four set victory over the East Carolina Pirates (25-20, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15) on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Convocation Center.

Despite dropping the second set, UTSA was able to deny the spirited efforts of the Pirates by leaning on decorated senior Mckenzie Adams. Adams led the team with 28 kills and 20 digs turning in yet another dominant performance.

Adams was a strong force from start to finish, but it was another senior who helped stabilize the Roadrunners after a shaky start where they were trailing in the first set 11-5. Senior defensive specialist Paige Hamilton entered the game as a substitution in a serving situation, and under her serve, the Roadrunners scored five consecutive points forcing the Pirates to call a timeout shortly after.

UTSA went on to secure a first set win, but dropped the second set to a gritty East Carolina team that seemed much more capable than their 3-10 Conference USA (C-USA) record would suggest. Senior outside hitter Whitney Campbell and senior opposite Nicole Willis led the Pirates, combining for 25 kills and 10 digs before the match would finish.

The sluggish start was thought to be a product of the Roadrunners looking forward to Sunday’s looming show down with the first place Tulsa Golden Hurricanes in a match that will crown the 2013 Conference USA regular season champion.

“We’ve been reminding ourselves that we needed to focus on today. We knew this could be seen as a trap game coming in so we haven’t been talking about Sunday that much,” Adams said after the game. “I really wasn’t too worried about us looking ahead.”

The third and fourth sets certainly seemed to confirm her beliefs, as the Roadrunners seized control of the match midway through the third set and never relinquished it. The contributions for UTSA came from all over the court.

Freshman setter Jessica Waldrip had a particularly impressive night accounting for 37 assists and seven digs without even playing in the fourth set. Senior setter Brandy Huskey finished with 18 assists, the majority of them finished by Adams and freshman outside hitter Dajana Boskovic.

With the victory in hand and the commemorative Senior Night pictures taken, Adams finally allowed herself to look forward to Sunday’s championship match and what a win would mean to her and her teammates.

“I have waited my entire volleyball career for a chance at a championship ring and to do it with this group of girls; I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Adams said. “I’m so proud of my team and everything that we’ve accomplished. We know it won’t be easy, but we deserve it.”