Volleyball goes 1-1 in first week in WAC competition

UTSA Volleyball

On Thursday, Sept. 13, the Roadrunners volleyball team lost their conference opener to the Utah State Aggies three matches to one. However, UTSA bounced back from the loss to beat  the San Jose State Spartans for the school’s first ever Western Athletic Conference (WAC) victory the following Saturday.

In the loss to the aggies both teams started the game out of sync. The Roadrunners managed to hit only .108 while the Aggies mustered a hitting percentage of .177. UTSA’s hitting issues were due to 29 miscues. However, both teams played well on the defensive end. The Runners recorded 17 team blocks, and the Aggies contributed 10 blocks with 82 digs.  Unfortunately for the Roadrunners, the Aggies were too much to handle. Utah State beat UTSA three matches to one (25-22, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20).

The loss to the Aggies caused the lady Runners to refocus the team’s energy on the San Jose State Spartans. Fortunately, the brilliant play of junior outside hitter McKenzie Adams, senior outside hitter Whitney Walls, sophomore setter Brandy Huskey, and junior libero Paige Hamilton led the team to its first WAC victory in school history.

Adams recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 24 kills and 14 digs. Huskey also recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 42 assists and 13 digs. Walls contributed with 11 kills, and Hamilton performed exceedingly well on the defensive end with 19 digs. The Roadrunners came back from an almost insurmountable 10-1 Spartans’ lead in the fourth match with a 10-2 run of their own, sealing UTSA’s victory.

The UTSA Roadrunners will face I-35 rival Texas State for the first time since losing in a thrilling Southland Conference championship match last season.

“I’m not concerned with playing Texas State. When building a program, it’s important to take each match at a time,” coach Laura Neugebaur-Groff said.

However, one may wonder if the loss last year is still lingering in the minds of the UTSA players. The Bobcats beat UTSA in the last game either team would play in the Southland Conference. The Runners will face the Bobcats only twice during conference play, and could potentially meet up for a third opportunity in the WAC tournament. With the possibility of a victory over the Bobcats on Saturday, UTSA could redeem the loss of the previous season. The latest installment I-35 rivalry will take place at the Convocation Center Friday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Before facing their rivals, the Roadrunners will host the Houston Baptist Huskies. UTSA seeks revenge on the Houston Baptist Huskies, a team that ended UTSA’s four-match winning streak, on Tuesday, Sept 18, at the Convocation Center at 6:30 p.m.