IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas volleyball team rallied down 2-0 in sets to capture a 3-2 victory over Austin College at the Maher Center on Tuesday night. Dallas (6-6, 1-0 SCAC) claimed the conference opener thanks to a pair of winning sets decided by two points, both of which went extra points. The Crusaders outdid AC 54-52 in kills and totaled 13 service aces.
The 'Roos (5-9, 0-1 SCAC) dropped their second consecutive head-to-head match with UD at the Maher Center (last meeting in 2016) in five sets and have lost the last four-of-five games. Austin College had 27 block assists and both teams scraped for 100 or more digs. The guests fell victim to 14 service errors.
Set 1: 25-21
Set 2: 25-19
Set 3: 27-25
Set 4: 25-12
Set 5: 16-14
After slight leads that were traded throughout the opening set, the 'Roos broke a 19-19 deadlock with five of the final seven points. UD had back-to-back points earned to cut the score to 22-21, but would surrender the remaining points to kills by Christine Royalty and Bri Williams.
In the second set, the Crusaders nipped a four-point margin with Ellise Anable (Phoenix, Ariz.) on serve for three straight points. Kills by Abigail Porras (El Paso, Texas) and Dayjah Whyte (Round Rock, Texas) came prior to one of Anable's three aces, tying a team-high, to knot the points at 17. Austin College churned out the next six points to help go on top 2-0.
Dallas held a 15-10 lead in the final set, but the 'Roos rallied to make it 17-all on a service ace by Mari Prazak. Whyte answered with a kill and ace to give UD the advantage again. After a 20-20 deadlock, the Crusaders went up three and would hold set-point on three occasions. The final one would finally cap a thrilling frame with an ace by Anable to keep the Crusaders alive.
The fourth set was close at 5-5 and then the home team rattled off seven points to take the biggest lead of the night by either team at six. Austin College cut things to three a few times, but the Crusaders went on a 12-2 run that included winning the last six points and evening the sets at 2-2.
With the Maher Center rocking, the Crusaders got the first point in the crucial set but would never lead again until coming up on the potential winning point. With six ties featured including the 13-13, a kill by Isabel Garcia (San Antonio, Texas) put UD back in front and poised for the big comeback. After an error sent things to extra points, Garcia notched her game and personal-high 15th kill. An attack error by Austin College gave Dallas the conference-opening triumph a second year in a row – also against the 'Roos.
Garcia led all players in kills and claimed three of the team's double-doubles with 10 digs. Anable had the other kills and digs combo with 10 and 16, respectively. Whyte followed Garcia in kills with 14 and Porras contributed 11. Larissa Ramirez (San Antonio, Texas) garnered the remaining double-double with 30 assists and 13 digs. Krystyn Pua (Escondido, Calif.) set a personal-best in digs with 38.
Austin College had a trio of players in double figures for kills paced by Christine Royalty with 13. She added five service aces and seven block assists that also tied Bri Williams. Shelbi Cook matched Williams with 10 kills. The 'Roos combined for 42 kills over the first three sets, including 17 in the opening frame. The number in that category diminished to just 10 in the final two sets.
Postgame interview with Whyte and Garcia on #UDCrusaders come-from-behind victory over Austin College! Full Interview ��https://t.co/zlV6FhS1Lt#WeAreUD #SCACvb #d3vb #UDallas pic.twitter.com/1IilEBqUNo— UDallas Athletics (@UDallasSports) September 18, 2019
Dallas remains in SCAC play with a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana, at host Centenary College. The Crusaders will face Southwestern University, Schreiner University, and No. 10 Colorado College in addition to the host Centenary.