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ARLINGTON, Texas - UTA returns back to College Park Center to begin a two-game homestand that opens with Eastern New Mexico on Sunday at 5 p.m.
The Lady Mavericks (5-2) have dropped their last two matchups in nonconference play and welcome the Greyhounds (5-2) in the middle of a four-game win streak. Eastern New Mexico plays vs. Tarleton State on Saturday evening. All Lady Mavericks games broadcast on Mavs All-Access with Amanda Kent calling the action. The subscription based service starts at $9.99 per month and gives fans access to all Lady Mavs games.
UTA enters with a bit of history on the line with several milestones within reach individually. Junior center Rebekah VanDijk is just three rebounds short of tying Candice Champion (2005-09) for 10th on the all-time list at 642. VanDijk had nine at K-State on Wednesday.
VanDijk downplayed the accomplishment, seeing it more as a team achievement than on her own.
"It is nice but it just another way to help the team," VanDijk. "The more rebounds the better it is for the team. It is just a thing for the team to get better."
UTA coach Krista Gerlich acknowledged the impressiveness of the feat, noting that it has just taken two and a half years to do.
"Just being a junior speaks volumes about what she has been doing and to what an impact she has been since her freshman year," Gerlich said. "I am excited for her for every accomplishment she gets. I know her teammates are excited for her as well. I know she would give all of that stuff away if we could win a championship and I know that's where her focus will be."
VanDijk also has the opportunity to move up the charts in all-time blocks. VanDijk has 115 in her career, two short of Rola Ogunoye (2001-05) in fourth.
Cierra Johnson's six-steal effort against the Wildcats moved her into ninth in UTA history. She is just 11 short of Shalyn Martin (2007-11) with 188.
Coach Krista Gerlich on what she took from the K-State game
"It was a really hard matchup for us. K-State is huge in every spot. That is one of shortcomings this year is that we are smaller from one through four. The fact that we battled with them and were down five going into the fourth quarter, in a fairly low scoring game, that says a lot about our defense. There were a lot of positives to take away from that game. That is the beauty of it. We aren't playing our best basketball but are still in games."
On what the team is working on
"It is still a lot of chemistry. We have a lot of kids we are still trying to get in. It is figuring out where each other should be and where we should be offensively. There are a lot of things we continue to work on, but taking care of the basketball and playing hard and mentally tough we just have to get better at."
VanDijk on returning back to College Park Center
"I am excited to be back home and we are just working on ourselves right now. We are focusing on getting ourselves better as we finish nonconference."
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