SAN ANTONIO — UTSA will look to get back on the winning track this weekend when it hosts Louisiana Tech and UT Arlington at the Convocation Center. The Roadrunners will take on the Lady Techsters at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday before renewing their rivalry with the Mavericks at 2 p.m. two days later.
UTSA (10-5, 3-2 WAC) will host its annual "Dig Pink" match on Thursday. The Birds will wear pink jerseys and proceeds from the contest will benefit the Side-Out Foundation, which funds breast cancer research clinical trials. Special "Dig Pink" T-shirts also will be on sale for $10 during the match.
UTSA was handed a four-set loss at Idaho in the backend of a two-tilt road swing to the Pacific Northwest last weekend. The Roadrunners won the opening frame, but the Vandals won the next three to snap UTSA's four-match winning streak.
Junior McKenzie Adams leads the Roadrunners attack with 4.18 kills per set. The Birds also have been bolstered by seniors Whitney Walls (2.62 kps), sophomore Dempsey Thornton (2.44 kps) and senior Brittney Malloy (2.13 kps).
Meanwhile, UTSA's defense has been stellar in the first half of the season.
The Roadrunners rank fourth in the nation with 18.63 digs per set and lead the Western Athletic Conference by limiting their opponents to a .160 hitting percentage. Freshman Annie Kunes anchors UTSA's back line with a conference-leading 4.67 digs per panel, while Adams also ranks fifth in the league with 3.89 stops per frame.
Louisiana Tech (3-14, 0-5 WAC) enters Thursday's contest on an eight-match losing streak that dates back to Sept. 8. Clara Vido leads the Lady Techsters on offense with 2.24 kills per set, while Stephany Salas averages 3.06 digs per panel.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks (6-11, 2-3 WAC) have dropped nine of their last 11 matches, including a sweep at the hands of Utah State last Saturday. Shelby Dickson leads UT Arlington with 2.92 kills per set and Amanda Welsh has dished out 10.11 assists per frame. Dickson also leads UTA's defensive effort with 3.84 digs per stanza.
Louisana Tech and UTSA will be meeting for the fifth time on Thursday night with the Roadrunners holding a 3-1 lead in the all-time series that dates back to the 1990 campaign. UTSA has outlasted the Lady Techsters in five sets in the last two meetings, including a matchup at the 2007 UTSA Classic (Sept. 8).
Saturday's contest marks the 43rd meeting between the Mavericks and Roadrunners with UT Arlington holding a 27-15 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1988. However, UTSA has won six of the last eight tilts, including both matches last season.