NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Highlighted by a furious comeback to win the second set, UTA volleyball wrapped up the Bruiser Showcase with a three-set sweep (25-16, 25-23, 25-20) of Idaho State, on Saturday morning at Belmont's Curb Event Center.
UTA (5-1) finished off the three-match trip to the Belmont Bruiser Showcase with a 2-1 record after wins over Idaho State and Middle Tennessee State and a five-set loss vs. Belmont. The Mavs cruised to a first-set win over Idaho State on Saturday morning before finding themselves in a seven-point hole three different times in the second set. UTA rallied from behind to win the second 25-23 and used an all-around effort in the third to fight off ISU for the 25-20 win and three-set sweep. Idaho State (3-3) posted a five-set win over Belmont on Saturday night, allowing UTA to go 2-1 in the Bruiser Showcase with a 8-3 record in sets.
UTA finished the match hitting .269 with 45 kills, owning 50 digs, seven blocks and seven service aces.
The Mavs are off to their best start since a 7-1 start to open the 2014 season in 2014, a year that saw UTA win 25 matches. UTA is under the direction of first-year Coach J.T. Wenger.
LEADING THE MAVS
Junior preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection Zhanelle Geathers led the team with 16 kills, adding three digs in the win, totaling 17.5 points total. Senior Qiana Canete had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs and freshman setter Kailyn Gilbreath starred with 34 assists and five kills in the three sets, adding seven digs. Sophomores Kylie Jedlicka and Madison McConnell each had five kills and freshman Tessa Harfield added four kills. Madelyn St. Germain finished with eight digs.
The Mavs return to action on Friday, traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., to face host New Mexico, Northern Colorado and Portland.
UTA jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two kills from Zhanelle Geathers and a kill from Qiana Canete, with freshman Kailyn Gilbreath assisting on each. UTA extended its lead to 7-2 and 11-4 with Madison Helt's serves leading to a 14-8 lead after a kill from Kylie Jedlicka. UTA continued to take a 21-13 lead after Gilbreath's kill and finished off the set on a kill from Geathers for a 25-16 result.
Idaho State jumped out to a 7-1 lead to open the second and saw its lead extend to seven again at 14-7 after an error. Geathers got the Mavs to within four at 15-11 and Tessa Harfield cut it to 15-12 with a kill. Madison McConnell's kill tied up the set at 22-22 and promoted the first Idaho State timeout of the set. UTA then took the lead with a kill from Gilbreath at 23-22 and after the Vandals tied it up at 23-23, Geathers gave the Mavs the lead with a kill. Gilbreath then finished off the dramatic comeback with a kill and a 25-23 win.
The Mavs jumped out to a 6-1 lead with Geathers collecting three kills. With contributions from throughout the roster, including young talents in Helt, Gilbreath Cameryn Zahradnik, Madison Smith and Libbie Vickers and senior standout Ashlyn Ford, the Mavs stretched their lead to 18-14. Harfield gave the Mavs a 20-16 lead with her fourth kill. UTA fought off a late rally from the Vandals, with kills from Harfield, Canete and Gilbreath, to take a 24-20 lead. Geathers finished off the win with her 16th kill.
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For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow @UTAVolleyball on twitter and at UTAVolleyball on Facebook.