The UCA volleyball team (16-2, 5-1 SLC) snapped Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s (8-10, 5-2 SLC) 43-game conference winning streak on Sept. 6 and swept the University of the Incarnate Word (3-11, 2-5 SLC) two days later.
UCA defeated Corpus Christi in five sets (18-25, 25-19, 20-25, 26-24, 15-12) and defeated Incarnate Word in
three sets (25-13, 25-22, 25-18).
The Sugarbears were down to their final point in the fourth set, losing 24-22, before they had a 4-point run to win the set.
UCA used that momentum, along with heavy offensive production from senior Megan Nash and junior Samantha
Anderson, to win the final set of the match 15-12.
“We had practiced really, really hard, and knew all of their strategies,” assistant coach John Newberry said. “Once they figured out and were able to hone in on what the other team was going to do, that was the big turning point.”
UCA struggled in the first set, and the Islanders took an early 6-0 lead.
Three kills from Nash helped the Sugar Bears claw their way back to within 3 points at 8-5, but AMCC kept the lead margin for the remainder of the set.
UCA allowed the Islanders to have a .389 hitting percentage for the set, and AMCC finished the set with a 3-point run to win 25-18.
In the second set, both teams fought to tie the score 10-10. UCA had a 3-point run to take a 13-10 lead, but couldn’t capitalize, and AMCC tied the score 17-17.
Two kills by Anderson and four errors from the Islanders helped UCA end the set on an 8-2 run to win 25-19.
The Sugar Bears started strong in the third set with a 3-0 run. Three kills by junior Haley
Tippett helped UCA take an 11-6 lead.
The Islanders went on a 10-2 run to take a 16-13 lead, forcing a timeout from UCA.
UCA couldn’t overcome AMCC’s momentum, and Corpus Christi took the third set 25-20.
In the fourth set, AMCC went on a 7-1 run to take a 12-6 lead.
Anderson hit three consecutive kills and scored 4 of UCA’s 6 points on a 6-0 run from UCA to tie the score 12-12.
Both teams traded points until Corpus Christi had a 3-point run and made the score 20-17. The Sugar Bears
had a scoring error to make the score 22-19 before they called a timeout and came back to win the match.
Anderson had a match-high 26 kills, sophomore Elizabeth Armstrong had 63 assists and freshman Emily Doss had 23 digs in the match.
With the highlight win against AMCC, Anderson said the team is more united than ever and has set a higher
standard of performance.
“It definitely brings us closer together and we have that win under our belts as a team,” Anderson said. “What’s
really going to come out of it is just knowing that we can beat these types of teams. This is our standard now.”
UCA handled the Sept. 7 match more easily against Incarnate Word. UCA’s defense didn’t allow the Cardinals to hit above .200 in any set.
Anderson sparked the Sugar Bears’ offense with 3 of their first 4 points.
Both teams traded points and neither team had a clear advantage until UCA went on a 7-point run to make the score 16-8.
The Sugar Bears didn’t allow the UIW to gain any momentum in the set, and UCA won the set 25-13.
Incarnate Word hit -.167 for the set, and wasn’t able to overcome UCA’s defensive scheme. Doss attributed this to UCA’s communication.
“Communicating is a big part on our defense,” Doss said. “We communicate because we have a lot of different defenses, so we see whatever works against the other team best.”
Incarnate Word scored the first 2 points of the second set, and both teams fought to tie the score 8-8.
UCA went on a 6-point run and took advantage of errors from UIW to increase its lead 14-8.
UCA increased its lead to 22-15, but a late run from the Cardinals forced a UCA timeout.
Incarnate Word climbed to within 2 points of UCA at 23-21, but UCA finished the set to win 25-22.
In the final set, UIW took an early advantage 7-4. Nash’s offensive efficiency allowed UCA to tie the score at 12-12.
For the match, Nash had a .500 attack percentage. A kill by Nash gave UCA the lead 15-14, and UCA continued to increase its lead for the remainder of the set.
A kill by junior Kellen Dunn made the score 21-16, and UCA rode their momentum to a 25-18 set win.
Anderson finished the match with 17 kills, and Doss led the Sugar Bears with six digs.
Newberry said that victory only increases the team’s mission.
“Now that the expectations are set and they believe that they can do it, it’s just a matter of going into practice, believing in themselves and seeing if we can continue on this mission to get better and better every single
day,” Newberry said.
UCA continues conference play at 6:30 p.m. Oct 7 at Nicholls State University.