SHERMAN, Texas – The University of Dallas volleyball team finished out the Austin College Classic on Saturday with a thriller. The Crusaders picked up their first win on the season by outlasting Concordia University in five sets (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 14-25, 15-13). The triumph improved the Crusaders to 1-2 after the opening season tournament, which also included a 3-0 straight set sweep to Hendrix College earlier that morning.
(Match vs. Hendrix College)
Dallas fell in the first match of the day by totals of 25-13, 25-19, and 25-15. Similar to the season opener, the Crusaders best performance occurred in the middle frame. Hendrix boasted a .317 kill percentage, with a 47-23 advantage in kills over UD.
An early 5-1 deficit was clipped by the Crusaders in the first set to one on three occasions, but a lead was never gained. Up 8-7, the Warriors took off with three straight points that sparked a 12-3 run to balloon the lead to double-digits.
In the second set, the Crusaders forced three ties in the beginning stages. However, Dallas never led in the game. A 5-5 tie was broken on a kill by HC's Mallory Carty, and an attack error by the Crusaders pushed an eventual 5-1 scoring swing. Dallas clipped the margin to a single-point a few times, but each juncture encountered a small spurt by the opposition in response.
Down four (19-15), Sarah Hughes (Fair Oaks, Calif.) served an ace, and then Ellise Anable (Phoenix, Ariz.) hit a kill. An attack error by Hendrix narrowed the score to 19-18 for UD, but the next five points in a row helped secure the 2-0 edge for the opponent.
An early competitive third set featured things even through the first 12 serves (6-6), but eight-of-nine points lifted the Warriors in the frame and onto the sweep.
Hendrix improved its start on the weekend and early part of the season to 3-0.
Anable and Abigail Porras (El Paso, Texas) led the offense with six kills apiece. Hughes posted 13 digs, while Stephanie Janysek (Sinton, Texas) and Elizabeth Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla.) contributed a combined 19 assists with 10 and nine, respectively.
Allison Long and Lauren Dwyer led the Warriors with 10 kills each. Carty just missed double-digits with nine, as a quintet of players amassed at least six in that column. Claire Smith notched 24 assists, while Amber Melcher chipped in 17. Dwyer also tallied half of the Warriors' 10 aces.
(Match vs. Concordia University)
A back and forth game for Dallas and the Tornados (2-2) led to an exciting finish. The Crusaders opened up the first set with a kill by Janysek, and took a 3-1 lead thanks to a service error by CTX and kill by Jordyn Fields (Thornton, Colo.). Dallas moved its edge up to 9-7 and went on to score consecutive times thanks an ace and kill by Janysek.
Later in the set the Crusaders had four straight points. Emma Holland (Waukesha, Wis.) scored a kill, two errors by CTX, and a service ace by Dayjah Whyte (Round Rock, Texas) opened up a 16-9 lead for Dallas. The Crusaders went on to win their first set on the season by five points.
Dallas continued the success from the first set by opening up a 2-0 lead. But Lexi Bustos helped gain the lead for the Tornados with four straight points, including two service aces to make it 7-4. Dallas was able to eventually tie things up 17-17 thanks to Holland and Isabel Garcia (San Antonio, Texas) hammering back-to-back kills. Four errors on UD changed the momentum back to CTX which would go on to even the sets at one win apiece.
Concordia opened up a 5-2 lead early in the third set. It was a game of big runs for Dallas that helped the Crusaders get back in this set. After falling behind 13-8, Savannah Walker (San Antonio, Texas) and Porras clobbered kills consecutively that and went on to knock the lead down to 13-11. Later on, Whyte and Janysek helped add three points in a row for Dallas that tied the game 17-17. The Tornados made a run of their own running out to a 20-17 lead.
Six straight points jumped Dallas out to a 23-20 lead. It started with a kill from Anable, who then moved onto serve for the next five points during the momentum shift. Whyte posted two kills in a row, and Anable added an ace for the go-ahead point. Dallas held off the Tornados for a narrow win in the third set.
After Dallas jumped out to a 4-1 lead in set four, CTX rattled off eight straight points to create a 9-4 lead and never looked back.
The surge continued into set five. Concordia led 4-1 early. Porras, Walker, Janysek, and Anable helped lead the comeback each adding kills to tie the set 7-7. The Crusaders fell off-touch helping out the Tornados with three straight errors helping CTX to mark an 11-9 score. Anable started off a new run by grabbing a kill. CTX helped out the case with two attacking errors making it 12-11 Dallas. Coming out of a timeout, Hughes squeaked in her lone ace of the match. Thanks to another attack error from CTX, the Crusaders found themselves looking at match point.
Concordia added two kills to cut into the lead (14-13), but Garcia finished off the next play with a kill to secure UD's first victory of the season.
The Crusaders had a trio of players reach double figures for kills (1st time this season) in the win. Whyte (who was named to the All-Tournament Team) led the way 12, followed by Porras and Garcia each with 10 apiece. Janysek led the team in assists (22) while Garza added 15.
Dallas easily shattered a season-high 55 kills, with 15 in the third counting for a season-best in a set. The team also garnered team-highs in this young season for digs (88), assists (49), blocks (12), and service aces (10).
Marissa Stinson led Concordia with 12 kills. Quiroz notched a game-high 38 assists.
Dallas will be back on the road September 7-8 at the Millsaps/Belhaven Tournament. The first match will be Friday at 5 p.m. vs. Loyola (La.) followed by another tilt at 7 p.m. vs. Dillard University. The Crusaders will also face off against host Belhaven University and LaGrange College on Saturday.