VB: Mavs drop/win five-set battle at UL Lafayette
Nov. 15, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – UT Arlington volleyball improved to 16-14 overall and 9-8 in Sun Belt Conference play after defeating UL Lafayette on Friday night.
Junior Taylor Gross led the offensive attack for the Mavericks with 16 kills while sophomore Stacey Koch was the most effective hitter with a .333 attack percentage. Junior setter Amanda Welsh tallied a team-high 26 assists while sophomore defensive specialist led the defense with 27 digs.
The hot play continued for seniors Shelby Dickson and Charmaine Whitmore. Dickson earned her 12th double-double of the year with 10 kills and 17 digs in the match. Whitmore, currently tied for first in the nation in blocks per set, notched 13 total blocks (four solo and nine assisted) against UL Lafayette.
Set one began with a back-and-forth battle but the Ragin' Cajuns pulled away to a three-point lead at 10-7. Whitmore and Gross combined for two blocks in-a-row to tie the set at 12 all. Unforced Maverick errors gave UL Lafayette a slight 21-19 advantage late in set one. The small deficit was too much to overcome as UTA dropped the first set, 22-25.
Three Cajuns service errors kept the start of set two tight at 7-7 before a kill from Gross would give the Mavs their first lead of the set, 9-7. UT Arlington earned a six point lead at 20-14, for its largest of the night. The Cajuns quickly closed the gap, 22-22, and forced a UTA timeout. A long final rally ended in the Maverick's favor as they took set two, 25-23.
Whitmore opened up set three with a kill to give UTA a 1-0 lead. The Mavs and Cajuns continued to exchange points into the third set ending in a tie at 9-9 before UT Arlington pushed ahead to a 19-13 lead. The Mavericks never looked back and won set three, 25-18.
The fourth set began in similar fashion as the three before with neither team able to take a definitive lead until UL Lafayette forced a UTA timeout at 10-6. Several errors from the Mavs pushed the Cajuns' lead to six, 16-11. Strong serving from Cassidy Wheeler put UT Arlington back in the set down just two at 18-16 but UL Lafayette would force a fifth set with a 25-21 victory.
The deciding set, once again, began with a battle for control and momentum and neither team earned more than a one-point lead. UL Lafayette went up 8-6 on a Maverick mistake but UTA responded to tie the set, 8-8. An all-out defensive effort put UT Arlington up 14-13 but a quick Cajun kill tied up the final set, 14-14. A kill from Koch would seal the set at 17-15 and the match.
UT Arlington will close out the Sun Belt regular-season Saturday at UL Monroe at 7 p.m. For in-match updates, follow the Mavericks on Twitter (@UTAMavs).