UTSA Volleyball

The UTSA Volleyball team defended their home court on Saturday, Oct. 15, and in the process put on an impressive show for the hometown fans.

The Roadrunners swept the visiting Nicholls Colonels in three sets (25-11, 25- 13, 25-14), and extended their winning streak to eight matches. The Runners have dominated their recent competition, sweeping all eight of their previous opponents and are off to their best start ever in Southland Conference play.

Volleyball Head Coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff called this year’s squad the most complete team she has had at UTSA.

“If somebody is not having a good match, then I look down the bench and substitute (a player) and do not feel like I’m missing a whole lot,” Neugebaur-Groff said. “I feel we have a great chance to win the conference and go to the NCAA tournament again.”

The Roadrunners gained momentum early in the first set by scoring their first seven points consecutively and forcing the Colonels to take a quick time-out. The Runners took set one with behind UTSA junior Whitney Walls’ four kills. Junior Kelsey Schwirtlich made her presence known with 10 assists and eight digs in game one.

In the second set, the Colonels showed more fight but still did not seriously challenge the Roadrunners. The Runners took another victory as junior Brittney Malloy and Walls both added three kills. Freshman Dempsey Thornton had four kills of her own. Schwirtlich continued to facilitate the offense and brought her assist total to 20 by the end of the second set.

The third set was the most competitive between the two teams. There were a total of nine ties before either team scored 10 points. Each side exchanged points right after each other, but the Runners completed the sweep with sophomore McKenzie Adams’ and Thornton’s 10 kills and Walls’ 12 total kills in the match. Schwirtlich’s added 14 more assists in the final set which brought her total assists to an impressive 34, and a total of 12 digs.

Along with the Roadrunners’ impressive team records, the individual players have also collected a very impressive number of individual awards.

Showing no problems adjusting to her new team, Adams became the Roadrunners’ first player to win a national weekly award. On Oct. 11, Collegiate Volleyball Update named Adams the National Player of the Week. Adams is also first in the Southland in blocks with 1.4 blocks per frame and second in hitting percentage with .353.

Kelsey Jewasko leads the Southland conference and is ranked 10th in the NCAA for digs with 10.56. She also is ranked second all time in UTSA history with 2,044 career digs. Jewasko believes the team’s incredible chemistry comes from this year’s success.

“It’s great to be out there with a group of girls who have your back,” Jewasko said. “Everyone has a different role and everyone has been able to contribute. It’s a complete team effort. Looking to the future, we have potential to do some damage in the NCAA tournament.”

On her individual award, Adams was honored but gave credit for the award to her teammates.

“It means a lot, but I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Adams said. “We truly are a family and they are the reason why I can go out there and do my best.”

The Roadrunners will have two more opportunities to continue their historic run when they face Texas A&M -Corpus Christi, Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m., and when they host Lamar Saturday Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Both games will be held in the Convocation Center.

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