VOLLEYBALL TEAM TAKES TO THE ROAD
Nov. 2, 2007
ARLINGTON, Texas - As the Southland Conference season winds down, UT Arlington's volleyball team finds itself with two drastically different road trips, beginning Friday night in Hammond, La.
First serve is at 7 p.m. when UTA and Southeastern Louisiana battle in a cross-divisional matchup. The Mavericks continue the Louisiana swing with a 2 p.m. match Saturday against Nicholls State.
SLU and Nicholls are a combined 3-21 in the SLC.
If the Mavericks continue their recent solid play and take care of business on the road against those two opponents, a rematch against league leader and defending SLC champion Stephen F. Austin is just around the corner on Nov. 7. In the middle of a three-game win streak, UTA coach Diane Seymour says it's important that her team stay focused for the final four matches.
"We did some good things in these three matches at home, but we still have a lot to do," Seymour said after UTA (16-9, 8-3 SLC) stretched its win streak to three after a home victory against Central Arkansas. "We need to keep this momentum and keep improving."
Standing in UTA's way first is an SLU team that recently snapped a 35-match losing streak in conference play. The Lions (10-14, 1-11) only victory in conference this season was against Nicholls State. Despite UTA's success historically against SLU and Nicholls, the Mavericks have run into problems when facing SLU on the road. UTA has lost in Hammond in 1999, 2001 and 2005.
Nicholls State (8-20, 2-11) hasn't defeated UTA since 2003.
Part of UTA's recent success could be credited to a lineup change. Following consecutive conference losses, UTA put Liz Curry in the starting lineup. Curry, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, responded with three solid performances in home matches against Texas State, Northwestern State and Central Arkansas. Curry combined for 37 kills, good enough for second-best on the team during the consecutive victories. Joining Curry on a current hot streak is freshman Bianca Sauls, who had a team-high 44 kills in those three matches.
The Mavericks stayed in the hunt for the West Division title, thanks to SFA's recent loss against Lamar.
UTA has three conference losses, while SFA has one.
The teams play each other on Nov. 7 in Nacogdoches.
SFA ends the SLC season at home against third-place Texas State.