The Southland Conference’s top ranked Roadrunners fell to the second ranked Texas State Bobcats in an upset defeat at the Convocation Center on Thursday Nov. 10, in four sets (23-25, 25-22, 25-20 and 25-17).

The Roadrunner defeat was witnessed by a record crowd of 1,612.

“It’s so great to see all those people out there just cheering for us. No matter if we’re up or down or even after the game they are still cheering for us. It’s great to see that,” junior setter Kelsey Schwirtlich said.

With the Bobcats’ recent victory, the season series is even at one win a piece. The UTSA Roadrunners handed the Bobcats their only conference loss back on Sept. 22. The loss Thursday dropped UTSA to an overall record of 19-10 and a conference record of 13-2. The Bobcats also snapped the Roadrunners 14-game home winning streak with the win.

Freshman Becca Stark beautifully sang the National Anthem for the record crowd at the Convocation Center, and from that point on the atmosphere was intense for the rest of the match.

The Roadrunners came into this rivalry game at less than full strength, with sophomore outside hitter McKenzie Adams playing with an abdomen injury and Schwirtlich playing sick, nevertheless their determination kept them going.

The intensity spiked to an incredibly high level once the first set began, and kept on climbing until it reached a fever-pitch. Every point was awarded after long rallies that had the Roadrunners and Bobcats diving all over the court.

The match showcased 23 total ties and nine lead changes. As is often the case in rivalry games, neither team was willing to back down.

Senior libero Kelsey Jewasko had an impassioned performance as she dived for 18 digs in the match. Senior outside hitter Elise Huskey led the Roadrunners with 13 hard fought kills in the game and ten digs. Adams tallied 10 kills for the night and junior outside hitter Brittney Malloy scored 11 kills for the Roadrunners. The key to Texas State’s victory was their defensive performance.

“We haven’t been very intense,” Head Volleyball Coach Laura Groff said. “Every stat of the game they kicked our tail.”

Despite the efforts of Jewasko who is chasing the school dig record, The Roadrunners were out dug by the Bobcats

“When a team out digs us, they are going to beat you,” Groff said. “My biggest disappointment is that we got out dug tonight.”

Huskey reiterated what her coach said about the mistakes made by the team.

“We have people that do make mistakes and we are there for each other and we know we are there for each other, and we keep pushing forward,” Huskey said. “That’s why we kept the games so close.  We are definitely going to learn from this and fix a few things.”

The Roadrunners closed out regular season-and Southland Conference-play on Saturday with a victory over the UT-Arlington Mavericks at the Convocation Center.

The Roadrunners dropped a hard-fought first set, 26-24, before storming back to win the next three sets (25-17, 25-18 and 25-16).  The win put the Roadrunners overall record at 20-10 and 14-2 in the Southland, the best ever mark under Neugebauer-Groff.

 Leading the charge for the Roadrunners was Huskey, who had 20 kills over the four sets.  Jewasko finished the day with 13 digs, putting her career mark at 2,234 digs.  Jewasko is now 46 digs away from passing Erin McMillan’s school record of 2,279 set in 2006.

The Roadrunners opened the first set with an 11-6 advantage, before the Mavericks went on a six-point run to take the lead en-route to the two point set victory.

The Roadrunners rebounded to take the second set.  In doing so, the Roadrunners were able to snap a set-losing streak that started on Thursday against Texas State.  The second set began with the Mavericks jumping out to a 4-1 lead before the Roadrunners rallied with a 12-2 run that put the set away.

The Roadrunners took the third set behind the skill of Dempsey Thornton who had six kills to lead the Roadrunners to a 25-18 victory.  The fourth set saw the Roadrunners jump out to a 17-6 lead on the way to winning the set 25-16 and with it the match.

With their final Southland Conference campaign behind them, the Roadrunnners will try to defend their conference tournament crown beginning Friday Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. when they, as the number two seed, will face the number seven seeded Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks in the Southland Conference Tournament in Conway, Arkansas.

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