The volleyball team defeated Dallas Baptist University 4-0 in an exhibition match to start its season Friday at College Park Center.
Senior middle blocker Madison Hill said the exhibition game helped newcomers to ease their nerves and get more comfortable with the team. Hill led the Mavericks with 11 kills, hitting them in 17 attacks.
“We had a bunch of different hitters at all parts of the net, so that was real refreshing to have,” Hill said of the Mavericks’ offense.
Outside hitters freshman Devon Martinka and senior Petra Manderson each finished with seven kills.
Freshman defensive specialist Alli Wells finished her debut with seven assists and five digs. Wells said she felt like she fit in well and followed junior libero Madelyn St. Germain’s lead throughout the match.
“When I’m not on the court, I’ll definitely be watching her, seeing what she does, how she moves,” Wells said. “She’s a really good person to look up to.”
Head coach JT Wenger said the match provided a good opportunity for everyone to get playing time. He also thought his team hit well in tough situations.
The Mavericks stormed into their season with a strong opening start, leading the opening set 10-2. UTA kept a stronghold on the lead throughout the set despite the Lady Patriots’ attempt at a comeback.
Dallas Baptist couldn’t move in front of UTA, as the Mavericks took the set 25-17.
UTA went on two separate four-point runs en route to leading 15-4 in the second set. Dallas Baptist responded with a 7-1 run of their own to close the gap before UTA closed out the set, only allowing a further five points against them.
Dallas Baptist matched UTA’s intensity to start the third set as they fought back and forth, tied at eight. The Mavericks began pullling ahead after a 7-3 run to put them within touching distance before Dallas Baptist clawed back to pull within a point at 18-17 and then again at 21-20.
The Mavericks ultimately took the third set 25-21 following another four-point run. A fourth set followed in the exhibition, which UTA won 25-21.
UTA will travel south to partake in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup next weekend. The Mavericks’ first game is against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi at 10 a.m. at the Fertitta Center in Houston.