UCA bounces Volleyball from SLC Tournament
Nov. 20, 2010
HUNTSVILLE, Tex. - Emily Shearin finished with eight kills, but Central Arkansas bounced UT Arlington out of the Southland Conference Tournament semifinals with a 3-0 win Saturday night at Johnson Coliseum.
The UTA offense faltered for the first time in a month, managing just a .015 attack percentage through the first two sets. The Mavericks finished with just a .094 hitting percentage and Central Arkansas took advantage on its way to a 25-19, 25-18, 25-18 victory.
The Sugar Bears, meanwhile, hit .317.
"That's a tough go of it. I just think that Central Arkansas played very good defense," UTA coach Diane Seymour said. "They blocked well and it was just a combination of a couple of things that made it difficult for us to put balls away. Hats off to them and how they play. Their defense was just unbelievable."
Central Arkansas' win snapped the Mavericks' eight-match win streak - the longest the program strung together since 2002.
UT Arlington (17-15) got off to a slow start in the first set, falling behind 6-1 and then trailing 18-12. The Mavs won six of the next seven points to pull to within a point at 19-18 before the Sugar Bears rattled off six of the last seven points to close out the game.
Central Arkansas made the most of its offensive opportunities in Game 1, finishing with a .314 attack percentage.
The Sugar Bears (29-7) built on the Game 1 momentum in the next set, jumping out to a 7-2 lead. They later went on a 5-1 run to extend their lead out to 16-10 and the Mavs were never again able to pull any closer than five points for the rest of the set.
In Game 3, UT Arlington showed life by jumping out to a 5-1 lead. However, Central Arkansas seized control back and went on to close out the Mavericks by beating them 25-18 in Game 3.
"Obviously we were sad to see that our winning streak would come to an end today, but I was proud of our kids' effort to battle," Seymour said. "We came up against a Central Arkansas team that seemed to have everything going its way today. We kept fighting but we could never get the volleyball gods to turn our way tonight."
Shearin continued her strong play in SLC Tournament matches and added three blocks to go along with her eight kills.
Alicia Shaffer led the Mavericks with 15 digs. During the match, she became just the second player in UTA history to record 600 digs in a single season.
Raegan Daniel tallied 27 assists in her final collegiate match.
"I'm sad that it's over," Daniel said. "It hasn't really hit me yet. I still feel like I'm going to see them on Monday. I've been on a lot of successful and unsuccessful teams and I'm very proud of these girls for the way we were able to play this year."
Bianca Sauls added eight kills and six digs to close out her senior season.
Marissa Collins ran a balanced for the Sugar Bears by distributing 38 assists. Chloe Smith led Central Arkansas with 17 kills.
UT Arlington's 17 wins marked the most it had in a season since 2007.
"It's just amazing to me about who these kids became over the course of the last four or five weeks as we went on that run - and really who they became over the last two weeks and how well they played against Corpus and San Antonio," Seymour said. "I can't be more proud of them. I think we sent our seniors out on a good note - maybe one match short, but we did send them out on a good note. That's a good sign for the years to come."