The volleyball team (8-3, 8-3) lost 3-0 against in-state rival Texas State University in the second match of a two-match series on Saturday afternoon at College Park Center.
The first set started off with the score tied at 5-5. The Mavericks went on a 3-0 scoring run to take a 12-10 lead, until the Bobcats answered back taking a 17-13 lead after a 4-0 scoring run. Texas State went on to win the first set by a score of 25-19.
At the end of the first set, junior middle blocker Michaela Wright led the Mavericks with four kills, freshman libero Alyssa Duran led with six digs and junior setter Kylee Kapp led with six assists.
The Mavericks led 3-0 at the start of the second set. The Bobcats came back to take the lead 6-4 after going on a 4-0 run. In a back and forth set, UTA took the lead 8-7 after a 3-0 scoring run. The Bobcats went on a 6-0 scoring run and took the lead at 13-8. Texas State kept the lead for the rest of the second set, winning 25-14.
Junior outside hitter Brooke Townsend and freshman outside hitter Brianna Ford led the team with five kills after the second set. Duran continued to lead the team in digs with eight and freshman setter Mollie Blank led the Mavericks with nine assists.
The Mavericks trailed for most of the third set, down by as many as 10 points and trailing 16-6 after a Texas State 7-0 scoring run. The Mavericks battled back, going on a 4-0 scoring run and cutting the lead to 18-11 and then went on a 6-0 scoring run to cut the lead to 23-20. Ultimately, the Bobcats won the set 25-21.
Head coach J.T. Wenger said it isn’t a catastrophe to have a tough weekend and that this is a part of the growing pains that some of the younger players will face.
“The reality of high level volleyball is that you can have a decent match and still get beat,” Wenger said.
The head coach said next week’s opponent, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, plays a distinct brand of volleyball that UTA will have to prepare for all week.
“Every match is important, but especially with Louisiana, as we are kind of vying for some of those seeding positions,” Wenger said.
There are still three weeks left in a season where all teams will have a crack at winning the Sun Belt Conference. Wenger said he is excited about where his team is going.
“I think that our best volleyball is yet to be played and that’s really for the whole group,” Wenger said.
The Mavericks will host the University of Louisiana at Lafayette next week in a three-match series starting at 11 a.m. Friday at College Park Center.