Volleyball becomes the sole holder of the first place

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BEAUMONT – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros volleyball team took exclusive possession of first place in the Southwest Division of the Western Athletic Conference by defeating the Seattle U Redhawks 3-1 (28 -26, 13-25, 25-18, 25-20) on Fridays at Lamar’s McDonald Gym.

The Vaqueros (13-6, 5-1 WAC) are now on a five-game winning streak and one game ahead of Sam Houston (4-2 WAC) and Stephen F. Austin (4-2), both of whom play later. Friday evening, in the Southwest.

Senior Veronica Jandova led the Vaqueros with 15 kills on 0.500 hits and four blocks. Second year Luisa Silva Dos Santos recorded 14 kills out of .385 with three blocks. Junior Sarah-Cruz recorded nine wins and nine searches. First-year student Luanna Emiliano posted it 15e double-double with 40 assists, 14 digs and four aces.

Sierra Bartley led the Redhawks (3-16, 0-8 WAC) with 16 kills and five blocks. Sofia sanchez finished with 16 kills and seven digs.

The Redhawks took a 7-1 lead in the first set. The Vaqueros were scared then, with the score of 11-14, two consecutive victories in the second year Maria Eduarda Rodrigues triggered a 7-0 run to give the Vaqueros an 18-14 lead. The Vaqueros were leading 21-19 when the Redhawks went on a 5-0 streak to reach set point. After a time out, the Vaqueros scored four straight points, including an ace Emiliano to bring the score to 25-24. Two serves later, the Redhawks had scored the point again when a Cruz kill and a pair of offensive errors gave the Vaqueros the set.

After the Vaqueros gave up the second set and gave up the first point of the third set, Santos had four kills in a row and five in six serves to give the Vaqueros a 5-2 lead. The Redhawks responded with a 7-2 run to take a 9-7 lead. The Redhawks led by three points at 15-12 before the Vaqueros began a 7-0 streak, capped by an ace from Santos, to take a 19-15 lead. Then, with the score of 20-18, a kill in second year Ioanna Charitonidi triggered a 5-0 run to end the set.

Emiliano started the fourth set with an ace, then the Vaqueros took the lead 6-2 over an ace from Cruz. The Redhawks won the next four serves and the set remained tight until, with a score of 11-8, the Vaqueros continued a 4-1 run with a 15-9 lead. Then, with a score of 16-11, the Vaqueros went on 6-0 to overtake the Redhawks at 22-11. The Redhawks followed with an 8-1 run to move closer to 19-23 before a Jandova victory brought the Vaqueros back to match point. A serve later, the Vaqueros won on a mistake.

The UTRGV concludes the inter-divisional game Saturday at 1 p.m. against Chicago State.

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