Sept. 20, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
BOONE, North Carolina - UT Arlington defeated Denver 3-2 Friday night in its opening match at the Black and Gold Challenge hosted by Appalachian State.
The Mavericks improved to 6-5 on the year with the win (19-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10) over former Western Athletic Conference foe Denver, after falling to DU twice in conference play last season.
"It was our goal to start this tournament off with a win," UTA coach Diane Seymour said. "I'm very proud of the team for coming out hard against Denver despite what happened last year. Hopefully we are up to the challenge of playing back-to-back matches [Saturday], but I think we are in good enough shape to where we will be able to compete."
Junior outside hitter Taylor Gross led the offensive attack for UT Arlington with 12 kills and a .579 attack percentage. Sophomore defensive specialist Caitlyn Cooney paced the defense for the Mavs with 16 digs followed closely by Shelby Dickson's 15. Dickson also tallied nine kills in the match, good for second on the team.
Junior setter Amanda Welsh had a team-high 20 assists in the match along with freshman setter Cassidy Wheeler's 17. Charmaine Whitmore, Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week earlier this season, continued her hot play at the net with six total blocks, two solo and four assisted. Senior defensive specialist Megan Casey notched two of UTA's three total aces in the victory over the Pioneers.
UT Arlington will close out the Black and Gold Challenge with a doubleheader Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. against host Appalachian State followed by a 4 p.m. match with East Carolina. For live stats and all other tournament information, click here.