The third-seeded UTA volleyball team (11-6, 10-6) won its first match of pool play against No. 5 Georgia Southern University in the Sun Belt Conference Championship on Thursday night.
With the win, the Mavericks will now face No. 2 Troy University at 7:30 p.m. Friday in an attempt to win the pool. If successful, UTA will advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
UTA established a solid lead in the first set, using a 10-1 scoring run to secure a 25-15 win. Freshman outside hitter Brianna Ford led with six kills at the end of the set, while freshman Mollie Blank led with six digs and seven assists.
UTA carried the momentum into the second, but its attempt to carry the lead fell short once Georgia Southern tied the set at 15-all. From there, the Eagles took a lead they wouldn't let go of, winning the set 25-22 and equalizing the match.
Coming off that win, Georgia Southern struck first in the third, jumping out to a slim 7-5 lead. The set went on to tie 13 times until a 4-0 scoring run put the match in favor of the Mavericks, placing them one set away from victory.
The fourth set started much like the third, with a few ties and lead changes.
With the match on the line and a 1-point lead separating the two, the Mavericks scored 7 unanswered points to claim the win.
Brown led the team with 13 kills in the win, followed by Blank, who contributed a team-high 20 digs and 20 assists.