The volleyball team started the season 2-1, with two comeback wins highlighting UTA’s weekend at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup at the University of Houston.
UTA defeated Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi 3-2 before being swept away by Louisiana State University 3-0 on Friday. On Saturday, the Mavericks came from two sets down to beat Houston 3-2.
Senior middle blocker Madison Hill said the team had to focus and use its artillery of options to dig itself out of the hole. The team knows it’s good and didn’t give up despite going down, she said.
“With an opening tournament, you get to see what you need to work on,” Hill said. “We learned a lot about ourselves.”
Hill said her hitting wasn’t quite where it needed to be, so she made up for it in blocking, recording five blocks against Houston.
Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Townsend was named to the all-tournament team as she led the Mavericks with 52 kills over three matches. Against Houston, Townsend contributed with 26 kills, 11 digs and 3 aces.
“Her capability to terminate is what sets her apart,” head coach J.T. Wenger said. “She knows how to put her body into position to take some good swings.”
Wenger said he paired Townsend on left court with senior outside hitter Kylie Jedlicka because they hit well in tough situations. That helped propel the team to two wins.
Jedlicka said the pair make a good left-sided duo that can swap offensive and defensive responsibilities.
“[Townsend] is really working, she’s doing awesome, and I feel like we’re a good threat together,” Jedlicka said.
Jedlicka said the Mavericks started matches without clicking and waiting for things to happen. She said UTA lost the first set in each of its three matches by not taking the game into its own hands.
Wenger said it’s still early in the season, and UTA still needs to sharpen the ends of various aspects of play.
He said the team will focus on adding new things to its offense and shoring up on its defense as the season goes on.
The Mavericks will host the 2019 Maverick Classic this weekend, beginning with a matchup against the University of the Incarnate Word at 6:30 p.m. Friday at College Park Center.