The volleyball team (14-9, 8-5) returned home, going 1-1 over the weekend at College Park Center.
Match No. 1: UTA 3, University of Louisiana at Monroe 0
Both teams came out with competitive play to begin the match. With the score tied at 16 all, UTA head coach J.T. Wenger called a timeout.
“Sometimes it's about taking a breath,” Wenger said. “Kind of re-centering as a team and as a people.”
UTA came out of the break and finished the set on a 9-2 run to take an early match lead of 1-0 with a set score of 25-18.
The Mavericks' dominant play would continue in the second set as the Warhawks were unable to respond in a winning effort. The Mavericks finished with 16 kills in the second set, and was led by junior middle blocker Madison Hill.
Hill, who was named as the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week, collected a total of six kills in the set and 15 in the match. A kill by junior outside hitter Petra Manderson ended the set with a score of 25-20, putting the match score at 2-0 in favor of UTA.
“The more I hit, the more I get going,” Hill said. “It's so much fun to get set and get kills, I mean, I think it brings a lot of energy and helps the team a lot.”
In a last resort effort, the Warhawks kept the score close in the third set.
Leading 21-19, the Warhawks were able to obtain their two-point lead as the Mavericks were able to take control and secure a 25-22 set victory and the 3-0 match sweep.
Match No. 2: University of Louisiana at Lafayette 3, UTA 2
The Mavericks lost the first set 25-22.
The set was close until a 4-0 run gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 21-17 lead. As UTA gained enough momentum to make it a one-point set, Louisiana's junior middle blocker Dree’Ana Abram delivered back-to-back kills to win the set for the Ragin' Cajuns, giving them a 1-0 lead.
In the second set, the Mavericks responded in a victorious effort. After being down 6-3 in the opening minutes of the set, UTA tied the score at 10 all.
As play would progress, both teams battled for a lead. The Mavericks were able to pull away and win 25-22 after a service ace by junior libero Madelyn St. Germain.
As match score was tied 1-1, neither team took a slump in their play. The score was tied for the majority of the third set until the Ragin' Cajuns grabbed a 22-18 lead. As UTA attempted to gain control, Louisiana walked away with a 25-21 set victory, bringing the match score to 2-1.
Despite the loss, Hill ended the match with a career-high 26 kills.
“Honestly, my shoulder is probably about to fall off right now,” Hill said. “Last time we played them I had 23 kills, so it was actually my goal to top that.”
While facing defeat if another set loss occurred, the Mavericks dominated in the fourth set. After being down 12-11, UTA went on 11-0 run to bring the score 22-12.
After giving up the lead, Louisiana was able to score four points until a kill by Hill ended the set 25-16, tying the match score at 2-2.
As both teams fought for the win in the fifth set, the score was tied 10 all. The Mavericks then went up 15-14 until Louisiana scored three unanswered points to claim the win.
“We were using this as a building block," Wenger said. “This was not our best match as a team but we were still in a position to win the match.”
Next up, the Mavericks will hit the road to take on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Jack Stephens Center.