ARLINGTON, Texas -- UTA volleyball senior Qiana Canete eclipsed the program record for career kills but it wasn't enough as Arkansas State handed the Mavs a four-set loss (25-20, 20-25, 13-25, 19-25) on Saturday night at College Park Center.
"I was just trying to stay focused on the game," Canete said. "We had a really strong start and they started clicking better with the outsides and right sides (hitters) and it put us in a bad position. I am blessed to have that accomplishment. It is a great feeling. I am just going to move forward from here."
"We are so proud of Qiana," UTA Coach J.T. Wenger said. "This was a good performance, as they are every night for her, where she shows up and puts up numbers and is a leader for this program. Congratulations to Qiana."
UTA (12-14, 6-7 Sun Belt Conference) opened the match with a 25-20 win in the first set but Arkansas State (18-10, 11-4 Sun Belt) answered to win the second 25-20 and post a 25-13 win in the third set. The Mavs fought back in the fourth but A-State finished off a 25-19 win.
"Came up against a pretty strong Arkansas State team that caught a little bit of a rhythm," Wenger said. "We came out strong, pretty pleased with the first set, and in the second set – we had a few opportunities – but Arkansas State really stepped up their game and put us in some tough spots."
The Mavs return to action on Monday, hosting red-hot rival Texas State at 6:30 p.m. CT at College Park Center.
LEADING THE MAVS
Canete, a native of Copperas Cove, Texas, finished with 16 kills and 10 digs, her 16th double-double of the year. She now has 1,426 kills in her decorated career, eclipsing the previous modern-era record, set by Caley Smith from 2001-04. Canete also ranks fourth in UTA career history in digs and is the only player in program annals to rank among the top three in each category.
UTA also got 12 kills from Zhanelle Geathers, with sophomore Kylie Jedlicka totaling four kills and a team-high 13 digs. Haley Higgins and Madison Helt combined for 33 assists, with Higgins owning a team-high 23. Libero Madison Smith had eight digs, with UTA also getting two kills from Madison McConnell.
UTA opened the match off to a strong start, taking the first four points and stretching its lead to 7-3. UTA saw its lead ran to 9-5 but the Red Wolves answered to cut it to 10-9. UTA stretched its lead to 20-13 and after a Canete kill the Mavs earned a 22-16 lead. A-State went on a 5-0 run to force a UTA timeout at 23-20 but the Mavs finished off a 25-20 win.
Arkansas State took a 2-0 lead to open up with the Mavs with UTA fighting back to even up the match at 3-3. Arkansas State took a 7-3 lead before the Mavs were able to even it up at 9-9 and force a timeout from the Red Wolves. Geathers cut the A-State lead to 16-15 with a kill and the Mavs were able to get the match to 19-18, before the Red Wolves scored six of the next eight points to earn the 25-20 win.
A-State cruised to a 10-3 lead to start the third set, with UTA calling for a timeout, trailing 14-4. UTA was able to cut it to 19-11 with the Red Wolves finishing off a 25-13 win.
UTA cruised to a 3-0 run to open the fourth set, taking a 9-6 lead after a kill from Geathers and a 10-8 lead after a service ace. Higgins evened it up at 11-11 after a Red Wolves run, with Canete's kill evening it up at 12. The match was tied at 16 when A-State went on an 8-3 run to polish off the win.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
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 @UTAMavsand Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow @UTAVolleyball on twitter and at UTAVolleyballon Facebook.
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