Oct. 11, 2012
By Michael Eldridge | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - Despite a third set boost from freshman Stacey Koch, UT Arlington dropped its fourth consecutive game Thursday night to Idaho 3-1 at College Park Center. The Vandals were able to overcome Koch's seven kills in the third set and extended its winning streak to four straight (25-9, 27-25, 22-25, 25-18).
The Mavericks dropped to 6-14 overall and 2-6 in the WAC.
"It's the third straight match that we have looked unprepared and that is not the case," volleyball coach Diane Seymour said. "We watched the film over our last three opponents and our kids aren't executing."
The Vandals (8-10, 6-2) meant business in the first set. Idaho scored the matches first three points and 12 of the first 15 in play. UTA tried to stop the run through the use of early timeouts, but Idaho continued to use its outside hitters to take advantage of miscues from the Mavericks. UTA allowed two aces in the opener and also had three errors dropping the set 25-9.
UTA stayed competitive early in the second set and found itself tied with Idaho at 9-9. The Mavs used a mid-set run behind a Charmaine Whitmore block and a kill from Karli Nanny to string three points together and take an 11-9 lead forcing the Vandals into a timeout. Idaho's Ashley Christman blasted a kill from the right side for a quick response but UTA opened its first lead of the match by blocking two consecutive attacks from Idaho. The lead extended to four for UTA after a service error, ut Taylor Gross was unable to expand it hitting her attack out-of-bounds on the next play.
Amanda Welsh connected with Ashley Bennett to bring UTA's lead to 22-18 forcing the Vandals into a late timeout in the set. Idaho responded by scoring three-straight points and UTA called a timeout of its own with the score 22-21. The teams traded points to tie the game at 23 and then Dickson brought UTA to its first set point of the match with a kill into the Idaho middle. The Vandals were able to fight off consecutive points to bring the match in its favor 25-24 to send UTA into another timeout. The Mavs were able to fight off the first, but couldn't hold off the second as Dickson's attack went into the Vandal's block. Idaho won the second set 27-25.
Freshman Stacey Koch gave the Mavericks an early lift in the third set using her height to hit four consecutive kills in as many attempts to give UTA an early 4-3 lead in the set. Trading points back and forth to tie at 9, UTA scored two consecutive on back-to-back errors by Idaho following by an attack error that sent the Vandals into a timeout with the Mavs up 12-9. Bennett used a quick set to shoot into the Vandals backline and give UTA its longest run of the match at five and an 18-10 lead.
The Vandals used the opportunity to gather itself and they came out scoring seven of eight in the set to bring the match to within two at 19-17. Koch broke the Idaho run with her continued confidence on offense to hit her seventh kill of the set. Down two, the Vandals made run into the lead on two hitting errors and a passing error that put Idaho up 21-20. The teams exchanged points and UTA took advantage of misplaced hitting to give itself two set-points at 24-22. Amy DeVault needed two tries, but after a rally, took advantage of the second chance to extend the match and give UTA a 25-22 set win.
"I just try and go out there and do my best," Koch said.
Idaho started the fourth set stealing the momentum away from UTA. The Vandals pulled away from the Mavericks early in the set and then the Mavs attack could not overcome the blocking from its opponent and trailed 19-9 heading into a timeout. UTA ran out of gas late in the set after losing consecutive rallies of 15-hits or more that seemed to take the energy out of the team. The Mavs would drop the final set 25-18.
"We need to build more confidence," UTA sophomore libero Valerie Stetzer said. "We keep dwelling in the past and we need to go forward."
UTA has a quick turnaround before its next game. The Mavericks host Seattle University on Saturday at 2 p.m. at College Park Center.
"We just need to give ourselves a chance," Seymour said. "If we play better, we can just give ourselves a chance."