SAN ANTONIO — UTSA (3-4) split a pair of matches on Friday by claiming a four-set victory against Loyola Marymount (2-3) by scores of 24-26, 25-18, 25-23 and 25-21 before dropping a four-set thriller to in-state neighbor Texas A&M (25-22, 25-16, 16-25, 25-15).
The Roadrunners (3-4) will hit the road on Monday when they travel to the Coastal Bend to take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christit (1-3) at 7 p.m.
UTSA 3, Loyola Marymount 1 (24-26, 25-18, 25-23, 25-21) McKenzie Adams led three Roadrunners with double-digit kills with 20 to go along with 16 digs. Dempsey Thornton tallied 13 winners and Dajana Boskovic pitched in with 11 in the four-set victory. Annie Kunes led the defense with 17 digs and Kylie Schott added a total of 10 blocks.
In a first set that featured eight ties and three lead changes, the Roadrunners fought back from a 13-7 hole with a 9-1 run highlighted by four of Thornton’s set-high five kills to take a 16-14 advantage. The two teams battled back-and-forth from there until back-to-back kills from LMU’s Kathleen Luft gave the Lions the victory.
The Birds responded in the second with a dominant closing stretch by winning 10 of the final 13 points to even the match. Boskovic tallied a team-high five kills and three blocks for UTSA, while Adams added another four winners.
Adams led the way in the third stanza with six kills in 11 attacks and three digs. Paige Hamilton added six digs and a back row winner that knotted the set at 10-all. The Birds were in control at 24-19 before the Lions reeled off four consecutive points to get to within one. However, setter Jessica Waldrip cast the final nail with a kill to end the set.
UTSA broke open a 13-all tie in the final set with a 7-0 run that included two kills from Thornton to take control of the match. Adams put the finishing touches on the match with her 20th kill.
Texas A&M 3, UTSA 1 (25-22, 25-16, 16-25, 25-15) The visiting Aggies took control of the opening set with a 5-1 run to get things started. Sierra Patrick connected for a set-high eight kills for the visitors, while Adams continued her standout day with seven kills for UTSA. Adams nearly led the Birds all the way back when her winner tied the set at 21-all, but the Aggies responded to capture the next two points.
Texas A&M maintained the momentum into the second set by building a 20-10 lead before trading points with the Birds to close out the panel.
UTSA got a big lift in the third set from Adams, who lived up to her billing as Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year by notching nine of her match-high 27 kills, including two of the set's final four points.
The Aggies powered back in the fourth set by building an eight point lead, 20-12, to take control of the match.
Sierra Patrick led Texas A&M with 21 kills and Kelsey Kinley added 23 digs to lead the Aggies.