SAN ANTONIO — UTSA will host its first pair of Conference USA home matches this weekend beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday against FIU (Florida International) and at noon two days later against Florida Atlantic.
The Roadrunners (10-6, 2-0 C-USA) enter the weekend having won seven of their last nine contests, including a conference-opening road sweep of Tulane and Louisiana Tech last weekend. UTSA recorded the sixth-best team hitting percentage in a C-USA match in league history on Sunday against the Lady Techsters.
The Friday date with the Panthers (7-7, 1-1 C-USA) will be head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff's first opportunity to notch victory No. 200 at UTSA. Neugebauer-Groff would join Marshall’s Mitch Jacobs (215) as the only C-USA head coaches with 200 or more wins at their current school.
Preseason C-USA Player of the Year McKenzie Adams ranks second and third in the nation in kills (5.44) and points per set (5.85), respectively, while Annie Kunes’ 5.29 digs per frame stands eighth. The Roadrunners defense is third nationally in digs (18.5 ps).
FIU split its opening weekend of conference matches by taking a five-setter at home against Charlotte before being swept by Marshall. Ksenia Sukhareva is the top kill producer for the Panthers at 3.08 per set, while Kimberly Smith averages 3.06. Smith also boasts the conference’s fifth-best block rate at 1.16 per stanza and the eighth-best hitting percentage in the circuit (.341).
Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic (9-6, 1-1 C-USA) lost in five sets to Marshall and took a 3-1 decision from Charlotte during the opening weekend of league play. As a team, the Owls rank third in C-USA in service aces with Alessia Pizzoccheri leading the way with 0.35 per frame.
This weekend will mark UTSA's first-ever matchups against both FIU and Florida Atlantic.