MAVERICKS DROP SEASON OPENER AT LONG BEACH STATE
Aug. 29, 2003
LONG BEACH, Calif...Junior Caley Smith led The University of Texas at Arlington offensive charge with 13 kills Friday evening, but it wasn't enough as the Mavericks fell to No. 16 ranked Long Beach State at The Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. In the season opener for both squads, the Mavericks faired well playing with the top ranked competition.
After a game opening service error by freshman Ashley Smith, the Mavericks took a quick 4-1 lead over the 16th ranked 49ers. The squads then traded points before the Mavericks pulled away to take their largest lead of the game at 21-17 behind back-to-back kills by senior Melissa Robinett. Long Beach battled its way back, pulling within one before 10th year head coach Janine Smith called her first time out. With the score tied at 25, the 49ers rattled off three consecutive points to take a commanding 28-25 lead, their largest of the game, before putting the Mavericks away 30-26.
Game two resembled much of game one with the teams trading points early. However, it was the Mavericks trailing early. UTA trailed by as many as four before clawing its way back to tie the score at 17 on a kill by junior Caley Smith. A misplayed ball by the 49ers gave the Mavericks their first lead of the game, before jumping to a three point lead and forcing Long Beach to use a time out. The 49ers came out of the time out with four straight points to regain the lead, 21-20. The squads battled back and forth from that point on with Long Beach eventually taking game two 31-29.
Trailing the match by two games the Mavericks came out in game three and jumped to a 3-0 lead. After a blocking error by senior Elizabeth Davis, the 49ers took a 6-5 lead and never looked back. Long Beach dominated the game, capitalizing on the Maverick errors and defeating UTA, 30-17, to take the match.
Junior Heather Dunn led the way for the Mavs, hitting .294 and dishing out 28 assists. Senior Julie Felts and freshman Ashley Smith led the Mavericks defensive efforts with 13 and 10 digs respectively.
Texas-Arlington will return to action Saturday at 7 p.m. (CDT) when it squares off with UC-Santa Barbara on the final day of the Mizuno Invitational.