Local Product Becoming Big Contributor To UTPA Volleyball As Freshman

The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs volleyball team broke the 17-year old program single-season attendance record by drawing 1,017 fans to bring their season total up to 4,034 in a 3-2 loss to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelinas on Tuesday at the UTPA Fieldhouse

The previous record of 3,266 fans was set in 1995 in 11 matches. This was the Broncs TM (8-12) fifth home match. The Broncs have three home matches remaining.

With the match tied 2-2, the Broncs and Javelinas (10-8) went to a decisive fifth set. The Javelinas jumped out to a 10-5 lead, but the Broncs used a kill by Haley Durham, a block by Durham and San Benito-native Kasey Sanchez, a kill by Sanchez and a kill by Michelle McNamee to power a 6-1 run that saw the Broncs pull within 12-11. The Javelinas responded by scoring the next two to set-up match point, but after a service error, a kill by McNamee and an attack error by Harlingen-native Ashley Bukowski tied the set at 14-14. The Javelinas got another chance at match point at 15-14, but a kill by McNamee again tied it up. The Javelinas scored the next two to win 17-15.

McNamee led the Broncs with a career-high 17 kills to go with 11 digs for her second double-double. Sanchez recorded her first-career double-double in her first-career start with career-highs in kills (11), digs (15) and blocks (four). Sarah Davis also had 11 kills to go with four blocks. Nycole Masaki recorded her third double-double with 43 assists and a career-high 17 digs.

Juri Franzen led the Broncs in digs with 30. It was the 14th 20+ digs match of her career and her ninth of the season. Franzen ranks second all-time in 20+ digs matches, trailing only Jaclyn Muszynski (2000-03), who had 15.

The Javelinas were led by Dedra Brown, who had 16 kills. Bukowski finished with nine kills.

The first two sets were closely contested.

The first set was a back and forth affair, although the Broncs never trailed. With the set tied at 17-17, the Broncs went on an 8-1 run to win 25-18.

In the second set, the Broncs trailed 24-21 before successfully defending on set point three times to tie the set. The Broncs also had to stave off set point at 25-24, but with the set tied at 25-25, a kill by Bukowski and an attack error by Diara Reynolds gave the Javelinas a 27-25 victory.

The Javelinas dominated the third set, 25-15, but the Broncs turned it around in the fourth set. Down 5-3 early, the Broncs scored eight-straight point to take an 11-5 lead before running away for a 25-13 win.

The Broncs resume Great West Conference play on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. when they host Chicago State University at the UTPA Fieldhouse.