Local Bronc Shines In UTPA Volleyball Loss

San Benito native and sophomore Kasey Sanchez recorded a season-high four kills and a career-high tying four blocks, but the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs volleyball team fell to the Utah Valley University Wolverines 3-0 on Monday at the UTPA Fieldhouse in front of a crowd of 555. The Wolverines (8-9, 2-1 WAC) won the first set 25-9, the second set 25-11 and the third set 25-23. Junior Krysta Freitas led the Broncs (10-8, 0-2 WAC) with six kills. Senior Nycole Masaki had 15 assists. Junior Nausheen Merchant posted 11 digs. Redshirt junior Maria Kliefoth tied Sanchez with four blocks. Lauren Stringham led the Wolverines with 12 kills, a .647 hitting percentage and four blocks. Brookelyn Hall recorded a match-high 29 assists. McKenna Tait had a match-high 21 digs. The Wolverines jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first set. After the Broncs TM second timeout, Sanchez came up with a kill as the Broncs scored three-straight to pull within nine. The Wolverines scored the next six in a row to put the set away and go up 1-0. A kill by Sanchez and an attack error by Katie Fritzler helped the Broncs take a 2-1 lead in the second set, but with the score tied at 4-4, the Wolverines scored nine straight points en route to taking a 2-0 lead. The Broncs opened the third set with an ace by Masaki and a kill by Kliefoth, setting the tone for a back and forth contest. Down 10-8, the Broncs took advantage of five Wolverines attack errors and two kills by Freitas to power a 7-3 run that gave the Broncs their largest lead of the match at 15-11. Three kills by Stringham helped the Wolverines pull within 16-15, but the Broncs pushed their lead back out to three at 18-15 on a kill by Masaki and 20-17 on a kill by Freitas. The Broncs led 23-22 on a kill by Sanchez, but two kills by Stringham and an attack error by Janda brought the Wolverines back to win the set and sweep the match.