Oct. 13, 2009
Northwestern State Match Notes
ARLINGTON, Texas -
UT Arlington returns home to Texas Hall on Wednesday when they host Northwestern State for a 7 p.m. Southland Conference match. The Mavericks are 4-3 at home this season while the Lady Demons are winless (0-5) on the road. UT Arlington has been full of streaks since Sept. 5, with a four-match skid before winning four out of five and now recently losing three in a row.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Wednesday marks the 40th all-time meeting between UT Arlington and Northwestern State. The Mavericks hold a commanding 35-4 lead in the series, despite the Lady Demons 4-2 record over the last six matchups. The Mavericks have won 16 of 17 matches against Northwestern State in Arlington, with the Lady Demons only victory coming in 2005 (3-0). Six of the last seven matches have been three-set sweeps by the winning team.
TAKING A LOOK BACK
Despite a pair of narrow two-point set losses, UT Arlington lost in a three-set sweep at Texas State last Friday night in front of 953 fans at Strahan Coliseum. The Bobcats took away the first set, 25-23, and grabbed a 31-29 third-set victory around a 25-18 win in the second set. The Mavs were led by Tara Frantz' match-high 13 kills and by Alicia Shaffer's 15 digs - which led all players. Bianca Sauls added seven kills, 10 digs and equaled a team-high four blocks while Emily Shearin threw in five kills (.400 hitting percentage), three blocks, two digs and an ace.
ON THE HORIZON
The Mavs will be back on the road against Central Arkansas on Saturday with a 2 p.m. match at the Prince Center in Conway, Ark.
MAVERICKS TIED WITH UTSA FOR FOURTH PLACE IN SLC WESTERN DIVISION
UT Arlington is currently tied for fourth place in the Southland Conference Western Division with a 2-3 league mark, which is the same record UTSA has in conference play. Only six teams in the SLC have a better conference record than the Mavericks, which includes three teams that have a 3-2 mark. Central Arkansas (6-0) and Sam Houston State (5-1) lead the way with Lamar (4-2) close behind. Stephen F. Austin (3-2), Nicholls (3-2) and Texas State (3-2) round out the top six as the Mavs and Roadrunners are a game behind the pack.
BLOCKING THEIR WAY TO A ... LOSS???
UT Arlington remains the top blocking team in the Southland Conference averaging 2.63 blocks per set in league play. The Mavs finished last Friday's match with more blocks than Texas State (8.0-to-5.0) but lost the match. It was only the second time this season that the Mavs had led their opponent in blocks and lost. Only against Oklahoma (lost in 5 sets) had the Mavs out-blocked their opponent and lost. UTA is 0-7 this season when trailing in blocks and is 0-2 when the blocking totals have been even.
Bianca Sauls NOTCHES 500TH CAREER KILL, 500 DIGS IS NEXT
Bianca Sauls jumped over the career-500 kill plateau on Friday night with seven kills (needed only one) against Texas State. Sauls now has 506 career kills and with two digs on Wednesday night against Northwestern will mark her 500th career dig. Sauls is currently second on the team with 2.28 kills per set and she ranks third on the squad averaging 2.72 digs per set.
SHEARIN CONTINUES TO HIT FOR A HIGH PERCENTAGE
Emily Shearin continues to lead UT Arlington in hitting percentage (.270) during league play with 29 kills, 9 attack errors and 74 attacks. The sophomore middle blocker also leads the Mavericks in total blocks (20) and service aces (6) during league play. Shearin added to her totals last match with five kills (.400 hitting percentage), three blocks, two digs and one ace against Texas State. She is the only Maverick to hit at least .200 in all five SLC matches this season. Last season, in 58 sets played in SLC play, Shearin hit .065 (42 kills - 33 errors - 138 attacks).
FRANTZ LEADING THE WAY FOR MAVS OFFENSE
Tara Frantz not only leads the Mavericks in kills per set (2.77) she has led the team in kills the past two matches. Frantz equaled a career-high with 16 kills in the Mavericks' four-set loss to Sam Houston State and then posted a match-high 13 kills against Texas State. Frantz has at least 10 kills in all but one SLC match (8 vs. Lamar) and recently cracked the top 10 in the SLC averaging 3.26 kills per set during league play to rank 10th in the conference.
LIFE ON THE ROAD DOESN'T GET EASIER FOR MAVERICKS
The Mavs have started the season with a 0-6 record on the road with losses at Illinois State (1-3), Arkansas (0-3), Colorado State (0-3), Lamar (0-3), Sam Houston State (1-3) and Texas State (0-3). UT Arlington still has five road matches remaining this season against opponents who at this moment have a combined 59-42 (.584) overall record, which includes a 24-11 (.686) record at home. The Mavs next three road opponents (Central Arkansas, McNeese State and Stephen F. Austin) are a combined 19-5 at home this season.
SHAFFER HAS MOST DIGS IN A MATCH SINCE NOV. 10, 2007
Sophomore libero Alicia Shaffer finished with a career-high 25 digs in the Mavericks' four-set loss to Sam Houston State on Saturday, Oct. 3. It was the most digs by any Maverick over the past two seasons. In fact, it was the most digs by a UTA player since Torie Dacus posted 30 digs in a five-set victory over Sam Houston State on Nov. 10, 2007. The last time a Maverick had at least 25 digs in a four-set match was when Dani Johnson recorded a school-record 27 digs in a three-set match against Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 7, 2007. Shaffer's 25 digs are tied for the fourth most in a single-match among all SLC players this season.
FIRST TIME SINCE NOVEMBER 4, 2005...
It had been 111 matches since a UTA team had recorded at least 60 kills, 60 assists and 15 total blocks in a single match. In the Mavs' four-set win over UTSA, UT Arlington recorded 63 kills, 60 assists and 16.5 team blocks. The last time this occurred was at Texas Hall on Nov. 4, 2005, when UTA lost to Louisiana-Monroe in five sets and the Mavs had 81 kills, 71 assists and 16.0 team blocks in five sets. No Maverick squad has accomplished this feat in four sets since 2004.