SAN MARCOS, Texas – There was plenty to be thankful about for UT Arlington in its opening round matchup of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the Mavericks gobbled up Appalachian State in four sets (16-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21) on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s exactly what I predicted,” UT Arlington coach Diane Seymour said. “Anytime you are in the spot of the four or five seed you are going to expect a dog fight in the conference tournament because we are the two closest seeds.”
The win advances the Mavericks to the Sun Belt Conference Semifinals and improves their record to 25-8 this season while the Mountaineers season comes to an end with a 21-10 mark.
Leading the charge for the Mavericks was the duo of Stacey Koch and Taylor Gross. Koch registered 12 kills with a hitting percentage of .308 while Gross notched ten kills while hitting .320 with six blocks.
UTA’s defense had four players reach double-digit digs with Caitlyn Cooney and Qiana Canete leading the way with 21 digs each. Canete also got in on the act offensively as she recorded nine kills.
Amanda Welsh and Cassidy Wheeler split up the setting duties as the pair of players each recorded 18 assists in the match.
The Mavericks controlled the nets in the four-set win as they out blocked the Mountaineers 12-6 and out hit Appalachian State .164 to .136.
The reward for the Mavericks Thanksgiving Day victory is a matchup with the top-seeded UALR who holds the nation’s longest current winning streak at 22 straight matches. The match is slated to begin at 4 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Sun Belt Championship Match.