UTRGV Volleyball Picks Up Win Over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for First Time Since 2007
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley volleyball team defeated the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 3-2 (25-23, 14-25, 25-15, 24-26, 15-4) on Tuesday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse in front of a crowd of 1,211 to pick up their first win over the Islanders since 2007.
Senior Alisha Watson led the way for UTRGV (13-7) with 20 kills while adding 12 digs and a pair of aces. Sophomore Ragni Steen Knudsen added 20 kills with junior Bojana Mitrovic chipping in 14 kills.
Senior Fatoumata Dacosta led the defense with 34 digs and junior Tina Sekulic set up the offense with 28 assists with sophomore Dubravka Vukoja adding 26 assists. Freshman Barbara Silva added six total blocks to surpass Michelle Solsberry (1988) for the most total blocks by a freshman in the program's Division I era.
Madison Fitzsimmons paced the Islanders (11-7) with 17 kills with Kate Klepetka adding 21 digs and Kristyn Nicholson chipping in 27 assists.
With a win, UTRGV regains the lead in the South Texas Showdown with a score of 11-9. The next match in the showdown will be on October 16 when the men's basketball teams face off at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
In the first set, UTRGV fell behind early after a block from Fitzsimmons and Brittany Gilpin made 0-3. The Islanders got their lead to 10-5 before UTRGV tied it at 18-18 after an attack error by Mallory Moran. Knudsen gave UTRGV the 19-18 lead with one of her kills and then later in the set it was Watson who put UTRGV up a set with a kill.
The Islanders answered back in the second set. UTRGV jumped out to the 2-0 lead after a kill by sophomore Alexandra Ecker but after a kill by Fitzsimmons tied the match at 2-2 the Islanders gained a lead they would not relinquish. UTRGV got as close as 10-13 after an Islander service error but fell in the second set to tie the match.
It was UTRGV's turn to respond as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the third set after a kill by Knudesen. An error by the Islanders pushed UTRGV's lead to 10-5 before going on another 10-5 run to push their advantage to 20-10. Mitrovic put the finishing touches on the set with a kill for a 25-15 win.
The fourth set went back and fourth as it saw 18 ties and 10 lead changes. UTRGV fell behind early in the set before grabbing their first lead at 7-6 after a kill by Knudsen. Later in the set, the Islanders took the lead 11-10 after a kill by Morgan Carlson but UTRGV fought back to grab the 14-13 lead with a kill from Watson. It was a tight set down the stretch before the Islanders tied the match with a win in the fourth set.
UTRGV scored six of the first eight points and it was a kill by Watson that forced Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to call a timeout. Watson delivered another kill after the timeout that was in the middle of an 8-0 run. UTRGV closed out the match on a 6-0 run that was capped by Mitrovic's kill to give UTRGV the final set and the victory.
UTRGV will be back in action on Thursday when they resume Western Athletic Conference play when they host Chicago State at the UTRGV Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. I