UTRGV Volleyball Drops Heartbreaker at Grand Canyon

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Texas Border Business

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros volleyball team reached match point before falling to the Grand Canyon University Lopes 2-3 (25-23, 12-25, 25-17, 8-25, 16-18) on Thursday at GCU Arena.

Junior Sarah Cruz led the Vaqueros (13-14, 7-6 WAC) with a career-high 22 kills, six digs, and two aces. Senior Barbara Silva recorded 10 kills with a season-high-tying six blocks. Junior Veronika Jandovarecorded 10 kills with three blocks. Freshman Victoire Nama also had 10 kills. Junior Debora Nazariodished out a season-high-tying 50 assists with nine digs and two blocks. Junior Samaret Caraballo finished with 22 digs.

Melody Horton led the Lopes (21-4, 11-2 WAC) with 17 kills, 10 digs, and four blocks. Yeny Murillo recorded 13 kills with three blocks. Annabelle Kubinski posted 12 kills.

The Lopes led 14-8 at the start of the first set. Silva responded with a kill as the Vaqueros scored four-straight points, but the Lopes followed with three in a row. The Vaqueros didn’t allow the Lopes to win back-to-back serves again, going on a 13-6 run to end the set. During the run, the Vaqueros were down 18-20 when a Silva kill and back-to-back Cruz kills gave the Vaqueros their first lead. Jandova ended the set with a kill.

After dropping the second set, the Vaqueros ran away with the third set, breaking a 3-3 tie with a Jandova kill to start an 11-2 run that put the Vaqueros up 14-5. The Vaqueros led by as many as 10, going up 20-10 on a Nama kill.

A block and a kill by Silva gave the Vaqueros the first two points of the fifth set, but the Lopes won nine of the next 12 serves to take the lead. The Lopes reached match point at 14-11. After an error, though, a pair of Cruz aces sandwiched a Nazario kill to put the Vaqueros up 15-14. Two points later, a block by Jandova and Nazario tied the set at 16, but a Kaira Moss kill and an error ended the match.

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UTRGV is back in action on Monday at 9 p.m. at CSU Bakersfield.

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