Pan-Am Volleyball Rallies In Early Sets To Down Chicago State

Sophomore Michelle McNamee had a career-high and match-high 19 kills and junior Nycole Masaki dished out a career-high and match-high 54 assists to lead the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs volleyball team past Great West Conference-opponent Chicago State University 3-2 on Saturday at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

McNamee was one of three Broncs (9-12, 2-1 GWC) to reach double-figures in kills. Sophomore Diara Reynolds recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 16 digs. Freshman Haley Durham had 13 kills with four blocks.

The Cougars (2-21, 0-4 GWC) took early leads in each of the first three sets.

In the first, the Cougars led 5-1 thanks in part to two kills by Valeria Desiderio. The Cougars held their lead for a little longer, going up 7-5 on a Juri Franzen attack error, but a kill by Reynolds kicked off a 9-0 run as the Broncs went ahead 14-7 and never looked back en route to a 25-22 win.

In the second set, the Cougars took a quick 3-1 lead, but the Broncs came back to tie it 3-3 on kills by McNamee and Haley Durham. From there, the set stayed tight until the end. Tied at 22-22, Durham came up with a kill to give the Broncs the lead for good as they won 25-23.

The Cougars jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the third set as well, but the Broncs responded with a 6-0 run to go ahead 7-3. The Cougars scored the next five points to go up 8-7, leading to another tight set. Tied at 23-23, Alyssa Podwell came up with back-to-back kills at the net to give the Cougars a 25-23 win.

In the fourth set, the Cougars had three opportunities at set point while the Broncs had two tries at match point. The Cougars led 24-23, but a kill by Krysta Freitas tied it up. The Cougars got another chance up 25-24, but a kill by Durham again tied it up. Paula Sioto followed with an attack error to give the Broncs match point, but a kill by Sydney Van Munster tied the set at 26-26. A Durham kill gave the Broncs another opportunity, but two kills be Desiderio and one by Podwell gave the Cougars the set, 29-27.

The Broncs got to match point at 14-11 in the fifth set, and after the Cougars successfully defended twice, McNamee came up with a kill on assist from Masaki to end the set at 15-13.

Van Munster led the Cougars with 18 kills. Desiderio finished with 14 while Sioto and Podwell each had 10.

The Broncs return to action on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. when they visit Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.