IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas volleyball team could not hold off LeTourneau University, 3-2, on Tuesday evening in the Maher Center. The Crusaders (7-10) shattered season-high marks in kills (63) and points (74), that included a career-high 20 kills from Abigail Porras (El Paso, Texas) and personal-highs in assists (50) and digs (22) from Larissa Ramirez (San Antonio, Texas).
Dallas dropped its third match in a row and first of the season that went five sets. The YellowJackets (7-6) improved a game over .500 and were led by Kianna Crow's 20 plus kills and digs for 28.5 points.
Set 1: 18-25
Set 2: 21-25
Set 3: 25-20
Set 4: 25-17
Set 5: 15-12
Down 5-4 in the first set, the Crusaders got three kills from Dayjah Whyte and Porras to lead a string of four points in a row. The home team went up as many as six (13-7) as part of a 9-2 run. The YellowJackets cut things to 13-11 before another 9-2 scoring swing lifted Dallas to an 11-point lead. LETU shrunk the gap but would fall in the opening set.
Dallas never trailed in the second set, as Porras and Andriella Wagner (Round Rock, Texas) started things with consecutive kills. Later with Whyte on serve, the YellowJackets made a trio of hitting errors in a row to help stretch the UD lead to 16-11. The Crusaders countered every attempt by LeTourneau to get closer than two, as they went up 2-0 in the sets.
The visitors used quick starts in the third and fourth sets to swing the momentum and force a deciding set. Kills by Wagner and Ellise Anable followed by an attack error sparked UD to a 3-0 lead in the last frame. Four points in a row capped by a service ace by Taylor Smith put LETU back in front. The next four points went to the Crusaders with three coming on kills – the first and last from Isabel Garcia (San Antonio, Texas).
Another stretch of three points, this time for the guests knotted things at seven again. After leads were traded a few times, Porras and Wagner made an 11-9 advantage on back-to-back kills. LeTourneau used a timeout and scored on three kills after a service error by UD. After allowing five points in a row, Porras put down a kill to notch her personal-best. However, it was not enough as Smith finished with her third kill from her team's last four in the comeback.
There were six players that reached double-doubles that included three from UD with Porras, Ramirez and Anable. Whyte followed Porras in kills with 19 to match her season-best for consecutive competitions. Anable rounded out the trio of players that finished in double-digits for kills with Dallas with 10. Garcia added eight and Wagner put down six in her first home match of the season. Bonnie Baldwin (North Salem, N.Y.) also made her home debut.
Krystyn Pua (Escondido, Calif.) finished with a team-high 24 digs just ahead of Ramirez's 22. Anable picked up 14 and Porras rounded out the quartet of those in double-digits with 11.
Dallas committed 13 service errors, a season-most. It also eclipsed 100 digs for the third time this season. The other occasions had resulted in triumphs with East Texas Baptist University and Austin College.
Crow led LETU with 26 kills and Smith contributed 10 kills and 17 digs for the other double-double on the YellowJackets in those categories. Natalie Davenport made 40 digs to go with 17 assists for the remaining double-double.
Dallas returns to the court on October 5-6 at Schreiner University. Dallas faces Johnson & Wales University (CO), Texas Lutheran University, Trinity University, and St. Thomas in the conference slate.