Volleyball Claims Pair of Road Non-Conference wins at LeTourneau Tri-Tournament

Crusaders defeat couple of non-conference teams on Friday to finish week with three straight wins.
Crusaders defeat couple of non-conference teams on Friday to finish week with three straight wins.

LONGVIEW, Texas – The University of Dallas volleyball team captured a pair of wins to extend its winning streak on the road this month to three after knocking off Louisiana College (4-13) and host LeTourneau University (7-12) on Friday evening.

Dallas (14-8) improved its non-conference record to 10-4 and has now achieved its highest win mark since 2014 (23). The Crusaders started the night with a 3-1 victory over Louisiana College (25-16, 25-21, 19-25, 25-11) at neutral site LeTourneau. In the final match of the tri-tournament, the Crusaders nabbed a set sweep over the Yellow Jackets (26-24, 25-16, 25-20) at Solheim Arena.

(Match vs. Louisiana College)

The Crusaders were edged in kills (45-44) and digs (67-63) by Louisiana College, but utilized 11 service aces and a team-best 10 blocks on the season to boast in the triumph. Dayjah Whyte (Round Rock, Texas) garnered a team-high in kills (12) and was one shy from her personal best in blocks (4). Ellise Anable (Phoenix, Ariz.) registered a double-double in kills (11) and digs (15) for her 4th of her rookie season. Abigail Porras (El Paso, Texas) Contributed nine kills and three blocks of her own.

Elizabeth Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla.) highlighted the service aces column with a career-high five. That amount surpassed her previous total of four in a pair of games in 2016. Smith also picked up 30 assists. Anable led a trio of UD players in double-digits for digs. Smith and earned a double-double of her own with 11 digs and Krystyn Pua (Escondido, Calif.) matched that amount to complete the unit.

Set one started close with Louisiana College taking an early advantage at 8-5. That three-point lead was as far as it got, as Anable put down kill to nip the margin to one (11-10). The freshman rotated to serve and would ace for the tying point. Porras notched a kill to put the Crusaders in front the rest of the opening set. Dallas extended the lead to 18-15 and after a kill from LC's leading scorer Paola Salas Adorno; would go on to win the final seven points. Whyte – who had the lone two kills that stretch – picked up one to put Pua on serve. The junior etched two aces on her first and fourth serves. The remainder of scores were attack errors.

Dallas faced another back-and-forth set in the second. Anable knotted the score later (19-19) and sparked a 5-0 run to surge the Crusaders to a 24-19 edge. Louisiana College managed the next two points, but would be downed 2-0 overall after a service error ended the set.

The Crusaders would be topped late in the third set to force a fourth. Dallas had tied things at 18 in the competitive set, but the next four points went to the Wild Cats until an attack error gave UD its only point in a 7-1 run.

The fourth set belonged to the Crusaders with a 14-point difference propelling them on top. A 10-0 outburst put the game out of reach.

Adorno paced the Wildcats with a game-high 19 kills. Paris Babino contributed 31 assists.


(Match vs. LeTourneau University)

It was another good game for the hitters with the Crusaders notching double figures in kills all three sets and hitting a .274 kill percentage clip. Whyte led the way again with 14 kills and hit .520. She entered the day with 10 performances with double-digit marks for kills. Porras followed with 12, and Anable just missed a double-double with nine to go with 14 digs.

Smith dished 37 assists, while Pua led the defense with 22 digs – her 5th match to eclipse 20 in that category. Isabel Garcia (San Antonio, Texas) had the big match on serve this time with four service aces. This number improves her previous season-best of three against Johnson & Wales a couple weeks ago.

Dallas clawed out a 26-24 set one victory behind 17 kills during that duration. Down 5-1 early and eventually by as many as seven (16-11) on a couple occasions, the road team battled back to shrink the deficit. Whyte got a kill to make it 22-20, and then Porras countered a LeTourneau point with consecutive kills to make it a one-point difference. Her third straight Dallas point kept things alive at 24-24. The next two points went to UD with Anable winning an attack and a ball handling error by the Yellow Jackets.

The Crusaders rolled the momentum to a 5-0 advantage in the next set. That lead ballooned to double-digits at 13-3 as Whyte and Smith managed back-to-back kills. The margin was reduced to seven (20-13) at a later juncture, but Dallas held its big lead throughout.

There was another 5-1 hole for UD in the last set, but four unanswered points gave an 11-10 lead for the guests. After some errors from LeTourneau started the spurt, Anable put down kills for the last two points. The freshman outside hitter tied the game again at 12 with a kill. The score would be tied at 14 and 15, but Dallas managed the loftier runs with eight of the next nine points (23-17). The early 5-0 run included consecutive aces by Garcia. LETU reduced the gap to 23-20, but an error and kill by Anable concluded the game.

LeTourneau was led offensively by Kianna Crow with 12 kills. Cam Taylor (19) and Sydney Spillers (10) combined for 29 of the team's 31 assists. Torie Langston led the defense on the front row with three blocks. Mikayla Thomas, Lauren Egby-Mcneal, and Natalie Connelly each posted two.



Dallas resumes conference play for nine of the next 10 matches starting at Colorado College on October 12-13. The Crusaders start the second half of league play with Centenary College, Southwestern University, and Austin College.