Aug 31, 2013
By Michael Eldridge | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington improved to 3-0 on the season and was crowned champions of the 2013 UTA Hilton Invitational after wins over Grambling State and Louisiana Tech on Saturday at College Park Center.
Sophomore defensive specialist Caitlyn Cooney was named MVP of the Invitational, as well as being named to the all-tournament team. Juniors Amanda Welsh (setter) and Taylor Gross (outside hitter), joined Cooney in earning all-tournament team honors. Madison Hoover and Jennifer Loerch of Abilene Christian were also named to the all-tournament team, along with Rebecca Redgen of Louisiana Tech.
"We were very proficient after the dog fight last night," UT Arlington coach Diane Seymour said, referring to Friday's five-set win over ACU. "Our defense was incredible and we were pursuing the ball well. I felt like we would settle in today and we did."
The Mavericks defeated LA Tech in four sets (25-20, 21-25, 25-14, 25-15) to earn the championship title in Saturday night's match.
In the final match of the Invitational, Gross paced the Mavs with a team-high 12 kills for a .360 attack percentage. Freshman Briana Sharratt rose to the occasion with nine kills, tied for second on the team, and an astounding .727 attack percentage. Dickson tallied nine kills and 10 digs. Welsh notched 38 assists, while Cooney totaled 18 digs to lead UTA.
UTA vs. Grambling State (3-0; 25-5, 25-8, 25-10)
Ashley Bennett opened up the UTA offense firing, accounting for five kills in UTA's 11-0 run to begin the first set, adding a sixth kill to complete the match.
UTA had a .425 attack percentage overall, including a .577 hitting percentage in the opener. The Mavs had just six attack errors overall.
Dickson added seven kills to go along with a career-high three aces and Gross finished with a match-high eight kills.
The Mavericks opened the game with a 16-1 run, scoring five consecutive after the first 11. UTA took the opener 25-5.
The teams exchanged points to open the second, set but UTA pulled ahead after the Mavs went on a 10-1 run to push the lead to 17-7. UTA would close it out with eight points to claim the second.
UTA's trend continued to complete the sweep in the third. This time an 11-1 run broke open a tight final set and UTA claimed victory, 25-10.
The Mavericks will return to the court in their first road match of the season against North Texas in Denton on Tuesday at 7 p.m.