Volleyball goes 2-0 in WAC game

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STEPHENVILLE – University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros volleyball team improved to 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) game with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18) over the Tarleton Texans on Saturday at Wisdom Gym.

Senior Sarah Cruz led the Vaqueros (13-4, 2-0 WAC) with 19 kills on .500 hits, 10 digs and three blocks for his fifth double-double. Junior Luisa Silva Dos Santos posted a career-high tying 17 kills on .394 hitting with three blocks. Second year Perris Key recorded a career-high 11 kills on .500 hits with four digs and five blocks. Second year Marguerite Giani recorded six kills and a career-high tying eight blocks. Second year Ingridy Fotran posted five kills and four digs. Second year Luanna Emiliano delivered 50 assists with six digs.

Megan Haynes led the Texans (8-8, 0-2 WAC) with 16 kills. Joselyn Roberson registered 12 victories. Emma burk finished with 10 kills.

The Texans took an 11-5 lead in the first set. A Santos kill and block brought the Vaqueros down to within four, but the Texans extended their lead to seven at 19-12. After a timeout, the Vaqueros raced 6-2, capped by a kill from Giani, to close 18-21. The Texans won the next three serves before the Vaqueros responded with a 3-0 run to draw 21-24, but that’s as close as they got.

The Texans scored the first point of the second set before a Key Kill sparked a 7-2 run to give the Vaqueros a 7-3 lead. The Texans won three of the next four serves to pull in 6-8 before a Santos kill sparked a 4-0 run to put the Vaqueros ahead 12-6. Then, down to 20-16, a pair of Key kills put the Vaqueros on a 4-1 run to reach the set point. Two serves later, another Key kill ended the set.

The Texans led 3-1 to start the third set before a 6-1 run, capped by a Foltran kill, gave the Vaqueros a 7-4 lead. After the Texans scored three straight runs, the Vaqueros went on a 3-0 run, capped by a Santos kill, to go up 10-7. Then, with the score of 13-10, the Texans chained 5-1 to go up 15-14. A block from Giani tied the set as the Vaqueros raced 8-1 to go up 22-16 and push the set out of reach.

Down 3-4 early in the fourth set, kills from Foltran, Santos and Emiliano helped the Vaqueros race from 6-0 to take a 9-4 lead. The Texans won four of the next five serves to draw less than two, but the Vaqueros responded with a 6-2 run to come back 16-10 on a block from Giani and Key. The Texans followed with a 5-0 run to climb to less than one before kills from Key and Emiliano helped the Vaqueros to 19-15. The Texans went 17-20 before the Vaqueros went on a 4-0 run to reach match point. A serve later, a kill from Cruz ended the match.

UTRGV is back in action for Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. WAC home opener against Utah Tech at UTRGV Fieldhouse. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for a special pre-game ceremony where a banner will be unveiled to commemorate the team’s 2021 playoff appearance at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at UTRGVTickets.com. Current UTRGV students enjoy free general admission with their student card. All fans must follow the clear bag policy, details of which can be found at GoUTRGV.com/ClearBag. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Fans unable to attend either game in person can watch domestically on ESPN+ or internationally on WAC International.

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