Outside hitter Kendra Rowland recorded a double-double of 17 kills and 15 digs as UTSA held off North Texas in five sets (25-23, 25-17, 23-25, 16-25, 15-12) in the season opener for both teams on Friday at the Mean Green Classic.

The preseason first-team All-Southland Conference performer led three Roadrunners who racked up double-digit winners and was one of four with collected 12 or more digs. The Antioch, Calif., native also posted four block assists and a pair of service aces.

The Roadrunners jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by using runs of 8-0 and 8-1 in the first set. UTSA then found itself in a 19-11 hole in the next frame, but the Birds used an 11-2 run to take their first lead and closed out the stanza for a commanding 2-0 advantage.

However, the Mean Green did not go down without a fight, leading the next two sets wire to wire to force a fifth-and-deciding frame.

After the two teams exchanged leads through the first 10 points, the Roadrunners took command with a 5-1 run to go up 10-6. North Texas pulled within a pair two points later, but that would be the closest it would get the rest of the way, as UTSA held on for its first season-opening win since 2006.

The Roadrunners received solid contributions from middle hitters Briana Mason and Stefanie Robbins. Mason had 13 kills and a team-leading total of five blocks. Meanwhile, Robbins added a dozen winners on the strength of a squad-best .333 hitting percentage.

Defensively, setter Amber Brooks picked up a team-high 16 digs to go along with her 52 assists. Megan Schauffele matched Brooks with 16 digs and 2008 Southland Libero of the Year Kelsey Jewasko contributed a dozen.

Amy Huddleston led the Mean Green with 13 kills, while Rachelle Wilson had 10 winners and eight blocks.

The victory pulled eighth-year head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff within one victory of Dave Hawk’s school record total of 113 set from 1989-95.

UTSA concludes tournament play with a pair of matches on Saturday.

The Roadrunners take on Northern Colorado (2-0) at 10 a.m. followed by a 4:30 p.m. matchup against SMU (0-2).

Related Stories

More from Paisano1

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In Sports

Ryan Garza Sports Editor

Frank Wilson has been fired as head football coach after four seasons with the Roadrunners. UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate…