Aug. 28, 2007

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Freshman outside hitter Bianca Sauls made her Texas Hall debut a special one with a team-high 16 kills and 12 digs to lead UT Arlington to a 3-1 win over Louisiana Tech in the home opener for the Mavericks Tuesday night.

"I thought we came out slow again in the first game, but we made some adjustments and played better as the match went on," said UT Arlington Head Volleyball Coach Diane Seymour. "Bianca and the whole team looked much more comfortable tonight. Bianca did an outstanding job, she didn't show nerves playing her first match at home in front of a good crowd. She gained a lot of confidence as the match went on.

"I can't say enough about how well our middle have been playing. Gina (Kalb) has had a great preseason and has been reacting well. We will have a real test this weekend when we go to the Marquette tournament. I was proud of the way we handled the fourth game. Hopefully we can build off tonight."

The win evens UT Arlington's record at 1-1 while Louisiana Tech (1-3) dropped its third straight match.

Sauls, an all-district outside hitter at Pflugerville High School last fall, sparked the offense with nine kills in the first two games. She led a balanced attack as sophomore outside hitter Teena Sobczak had 15 kills and 15 digs. Seniors Ellen Murray and Torie Dacus added eight kills apiece. Seniors Emily Nedderman had 13 and 10 digs, respectively.

After losing game three, 30-21, the Mavericks came out of the break winning the first four points of game four. The lead swelled to 9-1 after an ace by Emily Nedderman. Louisiana Tech could not get within seven points the rest of the game rolled to a 30-12 win.

In game three, Louisiana Tech used a 10-3 run early in the game to jump out to a 10-5 lead.

In game one, Sauls and sophomore Teena Sobczak combined for seven kills as UT Arlington rallied from a five-point deficit to win the game, 30-26. Trailing 12-8, a ball-handling error by LTU's Jilliann Walker and a Sauls' kill down the line cut the lead to 12-10.

The UT Arlington travels to Milwaukee, Wisc., to compete in the Marquette Tournament, Friday and Saturday. The Mavericks will open the tournament Friday at 4:30 p.m. when they face Oakland (Mich.). UT Arlington will end the tournament Saturday with matches against Miami (Fla.) at 10:30 a.m. and Marquette at 7 p.m.

MATCH NOTES: UT Arlington improves to 18-7 all-time in home openers at Texas Hall... Bianca Sauls recorded her first double-figure kills match of her career.




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