1 vball 10:21

The UTSA women’s volleyball team played two conference games at the Convocation Center on Friday and Sunday Oct. 17 and 18. They defeated both the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers (3-1) and the Rice University Owls (3-2) in these two exciting match-ups.

WKU and Rice came into this weekend in second and third place, respectively, for Conference USA (C-USA) behind the first place Roadrunners.

Senior middle hitter Dempsey Thornton and sophomore outside hitter Dajana Boskovic led the way in both contests as the Roadrunners pushed their conference record to a perfect 9-0.

The action started on Friday night as the Roadrunners took on the WKU Hilltoppers. Both teams came into the game riding eight-game winning streaks. The Roadrunners started off sluggish and lost the first set, 25-13. WKU led from beginning to end as UTSA struggled to find a rhythm. The Birds treated the loss as a wake-up call, reeling off three straight set wins (25-23, 25-19, 25-20) to ultimately take the match, 3-1.

“This win feels great,” explained sophomore Boskovic. “We set some goals before we started our conference play, and we’re doing really good so far.”

Boskovic ended her night with 17 kills, while Dempsey Thornton added 16 kills of her own. UTSA ended the final three sets with a .292 attack percentage, while holding WKU to only .188.

The Roadrunners continued their weekend on Sunday against the Rice University Owls in perhaps the most exciting game of the season at the Convocation Center. The Owls entered the game with a six-game winning streak and 15 straight set victories.

Their streak of 15 consecutive set wins ended in their first set against UTSA as the Roadrunners squeaked by with a 28-26 win in a back-and-forth battle. The set featured 13 tie scores and seven different lead changes between the two C-USA foes. Dajana Boskovic led the team with nine kills and five digs, while junior Annie Kunes added four digs of her own.

Rice bounced back to dominate the next two sets, 25-14 and 25-13 as the Roadrunners appeared to fall completely out of sync. In Rice’s two victories, UTSA had a combined 21 errors. They were also held to a .056 hitting percentage in the third set, and a .032 percentage in the fourth set.

“We committed way too many hitting errors at the wrong times, and Rice took advantage of that,” said UTSA Head Coach Laura Groff.

The Roadrunners seemed rattled, but with the game and their unblemished conference record on the line, the Roadrunners fought back to win the next two sets (25-19, 15-11), ultimately taking the match, 3-2 and earning their 10th straight victory. Boskovic and Thornton both had amazing games —combining for 42 kills overall. Freshman outside hitter Marijeta Runjic added four kills of her own while Kunes led the way on defense with 19 digs. The hard-fought victory came in front of a crowd of nearly 1,000 at the Convocation Center.

“What a match. It was a complete roller coaster,” explained Groff. “They (Rice) are a very good team, but we made the plays when it counted. We started serving tougher and made some great digs and came away with a win.”

The Roadrunners look to stay perfect in C-USA and extend their winning streak to 11 games when they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd this Friday, Oct. 24, in Huntington, W.Va.

First serve is set for 5 p.m.

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