By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Mavericks volleyball team went 0-2 on their final day of competition at the UTA Hilton Classic to move to 4-7 on the season. The Mavs lost in five hard-fought sets to Northwestern State and lost to Southern Mississippi 3-0. For the Mavericks, Taylor Gross was named to the all-tournament team.
UT Arlington vs. Northwestern State
An early run behind the serve of Shelby Dickson put the Mavs up 3-1 in the first set. Northwestern State regained control and the lead but Taylor Gross quickly tied things up at 5-5 with a kill, splitting the Lady Demon block. A towering stop at the net by Charmaine Whitmore and Dickson put UTA in the lead by two, 8-6. Service errors by both teams tied the set up at 12-12. Solid blocking and defense by the Mavericks forced a timeout call by Northwestern State at 17-13. Whitmore ended a long run by the Lady Demons with a kill to go up 21-19 late in set one. A kill off the block by Gross gave the Mavs at set one win, 25-22.
UT Arlington found themselves in an early hole in set two, 6-0. Gross got things going offensively for the Mavs with a kill but UTA still trailed by five in the second set, 7-2. Amy Davault ended a long run by the Lady Demons with a sharp, cross-court shot to put the score at 10-4. Northwestern State maintained momentum to go up by nine, 19-10; this marked the largest lead of the match for either team. Another combination block for Whitmore and Dickson kept the Mavs in the mix at 19-12. Dickson buried a kill down the line to close the gap at 22-17. Dickson earned an ace followed by a solid block for Gross and Ashley Bennett that forced a Northwestern State timeout at 22-20. UT Arlington could not maintain their momentum and fell in set two, 25-22.
Bennett found an open corner for a Maverick kill and tied the score at 1-1 in the third set. Gross threw a deep tip down the line to earn a kill and the lead, 4-3. Davault expanded the Mavs' lead to two at 6-4 with a kill between two Lady Demon defenders. Welsh notched an ace with an off-speed serve to go up 10-6 in set three. Northwestern State forced a UTA timeout after tying things up at 13-13. Defensive specialist Megan Casey's serve was too much for the Lady Demons to handle as she earned an ace to put the Mavs up by two, 15-13. A well-timed dump by Welsh cut Northwestern State's lead to one in set three, 18-17. Gross kept the Mavs fight alive with a strong kill between the block, 23-19. A Whitmore and Welsh block held off the set-winning point for the Lady Demons and narrowed their lead to two, 24-22. Northwestern State took set three 25-22 to go up on UT Arlington 2-1.
Another ace from Welsh early in set four put the Mavs down by only one, 3-2. Gross' kill ricocheted off the Lady Demon block to go up 5-4. Gross and Whitmore sealed the net to increase the Mavericks lead to four, 9-5. A strong kill from Davault put UTA up at 12-9 in set four. Bennett and Gross on the block gave the Mavericks a four point lead and forced a Northwestern State timeout, 16-12. Gross notched another kill with a cross-court shot to keep the lead at 20-17. Casey trickled a serve off the top of the net to earn an ace, 22-17. Solid defense late in the set pushed the Mavericks past the Lady Demons to force a deciding, fifth set with a score of 25-21.
Gross opened up for the Mavericks with a kill to keep things at 1-1 in set five. Hannah Baptiste and Gross earn a block and the set stayed tied at 3-3. Unforced errors for UTA and a block from the Lady Demons give Northwestern State the lead, 8-5. Bennett owned the net for the Mavs to give them a point and cut the lead to one, 8-7. Another block from Northwestern State forced a UT Arlington timeout at 11-9 in favor of the visitors. A big kill from Bennett kept the Mavericks in the match, 11-10. The Mavericks fall in five sets to Northwestern State with a score of 15-11 in the final set.
Davault earned her second double-double of the year in kills (15) and digs (15). Gross led the Mavericks in kills with 17 while Stetzer led in digs with 27. Welsh finished with a team high 51 assists as did Whitmore with 8 blocks. UT Arlington moves to 3-5 on the year while Northwestern State improves to 5-5.
UT Arlington vs. Southern Mississippi
A nice save by libero, Stetzer earned the Mavericks the first point of set one, 1-0. Southern Mississippi put together a solid run to take the lead, 4-3. A strong kill by Gross tied things up for the Mavs at 5-5. The first set was all even once again after a kill by Davault, 7-7. A dominating block by Welsh and Whitmore put UTA in the lead at 9-8. Dickson put one away down the line against the Golden Eagles, 11-11. A block for Bennett and Dickson tied the score in set one at 13-13. Mississippi State took the lead with a block, 17-15. Gross buried a kill in center-court to pull the Mavs within two at 19-17. Unforced errors from the Mavericks forced a UT Arlington timeout at 22-19 in favor of the Golden Eagles. A kill from Gross kept it alive for the Mavs at 23-20. Whitmore followed that up with one of her own, 21-23. The Mavericks were unable to maintain their momentum and fell in set one, 25-21.
Gross got set two going for UT Arlington with a kill to take the lead at 2-1. The Golden Eagles tied things up with an ace, 4-4. A kill from Whitmore out of serve receive ended a Southern Mississippi run at 7-6. The Golden Eagles put together another run to force a Mavericks timeout, 11-6. Dickson bounced a kill off of a Southern Mississippi defender to put the Mavs down by four at 12-8. UTA called timeout after a hitting error put them down five, 14-9. Davault buried a kill down the line to bring the Mavericks back in set two, 15-11. Baptiste earns a kill off the block to come back, 19-15. Bennett notched a kill to shrink the Golden Eagles lead at 22-17. A block from Southern Mississippi brings them to set-point, 24-17. Mavericks drop set two at 25-18.
A block from Bennett and Gross started off set three, 1-1. Gross knocked a kill off of the Golden Eagles block to take the lead at 4-2. Whitmore tagged one to keep the Mavs on top, 7-6. A cross-court shot from Dickson fell for a kill, 9-8. Bennett expanded the Mavericks lead to three with a kill to put them up 11-8. Kills from Southern Mississippi's offense brought them back within one at 14-13. Davault preserved the UT Arlington lead with a kill deep down the line, 16-15. Unforced errors from the Mavs gave the Golden Eagles the lead at 18-16. Aggressive all-around play by Southern Mississippi expanded their lead to four, 21-17. Dickson snapped a kill down the line to bring UTA back, 21-18. Dickson, once again, with a kill tied things up in a must-win set three for the Mavericks, 21-21. A kill from the Golden Eagles brought them to set and match-point, 24-22. A kill from Dickson kept the match alive for the Mavs, 24-23. The Mavericks' effort fell short as Southern Mississippi took the set and match, 25-23.
Davault earned her second double-double of the day, third on the year, in digs (10) and kills (10). Gross led the team in kills with 11 and Davault's 10 was a team high. Welsh led with 39 assists while Bennet had a team high 8 blocks.
"Gross and Davault both had great weekends for us but we could never get into a rhythm against Southern Mississippi. It was disappointing that we started out the tournament so well and just didn't put things together today," UTA head coach Diane Seymour said.
The Mavericks will travel to Fort Worth to take on cross-town opponent TCU on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6:00 p.m. before beginning WAC play on Saturday, Sept. 15 in Ruston, Louisiana against Louisiana Tech.
"Moving forward into next week, I think we need to remember that all of our hitters can be really successful when we get into a rhythm and put balls into the target area," Seymour said.
Also in action at the UT Arlington Hilton Classic
Southern Mississippi improved to 2-5 on the year with their first tournament win over Marist who is now 4-6. In the first match of the day, the Golden Eagles swept the Red Foxes at College Park Center. Southern Mississippi was led by all-around play from Jasmine Crowell who tallied four blocks, six digs, and eight kills in the match. Lydia Bonner and Halie Ecker led for the Golden Eagles with 17 and 14 kills, respectively.
In the third match of the day, Marist squared off against Northwestern State. Northwestern State, now 6-5, picks up its third victory of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Marist who falls to 4-7. The Lady Demons were led by Kelly Jimenez and Stacey DiFrancesco. Jimenez earned a double-double in this match in digs (13) and kills (11) while DiFancesco nearly had a double-double of her own in both digs (9) and kills (13).
UT Arlington Hilton Classic All-Tournament Team
Northwestern State (3-0, tournament record):
Stacey DiFrancesco, 5-10, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Emily Sweet, 5-9, Sophomore, Setter
Southern Mississippi (2-1):
Jasmine Crowell, 6-0, Sophomore, Outside hitter
UT Arlington (1-2):
Taylor Gross, 5-11, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Gena Russo, 5-9, Sophomore, Defensive specialist