Nov. 21, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
TROY, Alabama - UT Arlington volleyball swept South Alabama in the first round of the Sun Belt Volleyball Championship on Thursday. With the win, the Mavericks improved to 18-14 overall.
"Our girls were very driven tonight," UT Arlington coach Diane Seymour said. "Obviously, our goal is to win the tournament but we reminded the girls to do the things they were capable of doing as they strive for that goal."
Shelby Dickson led the way for the Mavs with her 13th double-double of the season with a team-high 10 kills and second with 12 digs. Charmaine Whitmore finished with seven kills and led with eight total blocks, all assisted.
Ashley Bennett was the most effective Maverick hitter with a .533 attack percentage in the match. Freshman Cassidy Wheeler led with 21 assists and had the only UTA ace. Defensive specialist Caitlyn Cooney recorded a team-high 14 digs in the win.
In set one, UTA stayed knotted with South Alabama at 5-5 until the Mavs pulled away to a five point lead, 11-6. Amanda Welsh put together a solid string of serves to stretch the UT Arlington lead to 17-12. The Mavericks would go on to win the first set, 25-18.
The Mavericks and Jaguars exchanged points to start the second set. Whitmore and Hannah Baptiste combined for a block to give UTA a 13-10 lead and force a South Alabama timeout. USA chipped away at the UT Arlington lead but it was too much to overcome as the Mavs took set two, 25-23.
South Alabama started the third set with momentum and quickly jumped to a 9-7 lead. Taylor Gross tagged a kill cross-court to put the Mavs up by one, 12-11. Bennett knocked down a kill to preserve the UTA lead at 20-16. The Jaguars pressed hard at the end of the set and came within one, 22-21, but the Mavericks would close out the match with a 25-21 win in the third set.
UT Arlington will face Troy in the Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Championship semifinals at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. For live stats and video, please click here.