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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA gets back on winning track at Stephen F. Austin

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NACOGDOCHES — UTSA rebounded from Thursday's first loss in Southland Conference play and the Roadrunners defeated Stephen F. Austin in four sets (25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22) on Saturday afternoon at Shelton Gym.

UTSA (19-9, 13-1 SLC) were able to win its final regular-season road match after improving their offensive play in the final two sets.

Redshirt junior Kelsey Schwirtlich tallied a match-high 55 assists and helped three Roadrunners juniors Whitney Walls (16) and Brittney Malloy (10) and sophomore McKenzie Adams (11) reach double-digit kills.

Adams recorded nine blocks (two solos/seven assists) to help UTSA hold its 11th opponent of the season under a .100 hitting percentage.

Stephen F. Austin (13-16, 6-8 SLC) was limited to a .085 hitting percentage, as three Roadrunners reached double figures in digs, led by senior Kelsey Jewasko, who racked up a match-high 20. Senior Elise Huskey collected 15 and junior Megan Wimbish added 11.

Walls racked up five kills in the opening set in leading UTSA to a six-point win.

The Ladyjacks picked up the first point, but the Roadrunners answered with a 6-0 run to take control of the frame. SFA pulled within one point at 10-9, but an attack error and a solo block by Adams kept UTSA in front for good.

The Birds fell behind early in the second stanza and burned both timeouts with Stephen F. Austin jumping out to a 14-6 advantage. The momentum remained with the Ladyjacks, as they increased their lead to 20-13. However, a 6-0 run by the Roadrunners, which included three kills and a block assist by junior Allie Bettinger, cut the lead to one. Following an SFA timeout, the Ladyjacks pulled away by winning five of the final eight points to tie the contest at one heading into intermission.

Stephen F. Austin opened up a 6-3 lead in the third frame, but the Roadrunners scored three straight to tie things up After the teams split the next dozen points, freshman Dempsey Thornton posted back-to-back winners to give the Birds a 14-12 lead. UTSA increased its advantage to five (21-16) following a kill by Malloy. The Roadrunners went on to claim four of the final seven points, including a slam by Walls, to take a 2-1 match lead.

UTSA's offense dominated the final stanza, hitting at a .407 clip to clinch the victory.

The Roadrunners raced out to a 12-3 lead after Adams, Malloy, Thornton and Walls all racked up kills. UTSA increased the advantage to as much as 11 before Schwirtlich set up freshman Lauren Muenchow for the final winner.

Jill Ivy paced the Ladyjacks with 10 kills.

UTSA will host I-35 rival Texas State (22-7, 13-1 SLC) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10.

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