Roadrunners top Denver in four sets on Thursday night
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA dropped the opening set, but the Roadrunners rallied to win the next three en route to a four-set victory (22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-16) against Denver on Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
Junior McKenzie Adams logged her team-leading 17th double-double of the campaign to pace UTSA (18-8, 11-5 WAC). The Schertz native posted a match-high 18 kills and 14 digs, while junior Brandy Huskey and freshman Annie Kunes also tallied match highs of 46 assists and 29 digs, respectively. Kunes' effort also was a season high.
Meanwhile, Brea Muhle led the Pioneers (15-12, 8-8 WAC) with 13 winners.
Despite taking an early lead, the Roadrunners were unable to overcome numerous errors and Denver took advantage by claiming the opening set.
UTSA, which racked up five service and five attack errors in the panel, jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but the Pioneers answered with a 5-1 run of their own. The frame remained within a point until Muhle's winner put the visitors on top, 17-15. The Birds fell behind by as much as three before a kill by sophomore Dempsey Thornton cut the deficit to 22-21. However, Denver scored three of the next four points to win by three.
The Roadrunners rushed out to another strong start and made it stick to tie up the match.
UTSA doubled up Denver in the first six points to claim an early two-point lead. After the two teams split the next 22 tallies, the Birds ripped off a 7-1 run, which included a pair of kills by senior Brittney Malloy, to take full command of the stanza. The Pioneers made a late push, but they only were able to get to within three before Adams closed out the set with cross-court winner.
The Roadrunners went ahead in the match after limiting Denver to a .077 hitting percentage in the third frame.
Walls spearheaded a 14-7 run after logging three kills to open the set. UTSA increased its lead to as much as eight before the Pioneers attempted a comeback. Denver cut the advantage to four at 23-19 before the two teams split the final four points with Walls ending the panel with a kill off a Huskey helper.
The Roadrunners' momentum carried into the final set.
UTSA broke a 3-all tie with three consecutive kills, including two by Walls. The Birds never looked back and won nine of the next 15 points to open a six-point margin. UTSA then increased the lead to 24-16 before freshman Erin Foley set up Adams for the final winner of the night.
UTSA will close out its regular season home slate at 11 a.m. on Saturday when New Mexico State (18-8, 11-4 WAC) comes to town. Allie Bettinger, Malloy and Walls will be honored prior to the match as part of Senior Day festivities.