Abilene (November 1, 2012) -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor volleyball team held off U.T.-Dallas in the first and third sets and the Cru eased past the Comets 3-0 in an American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament winner’s bracket match Thursday evening in Abilene. UMHB won 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 and will now advance to play another winner’s bracket match tomorrow with a spot in the championship match on the line. U.T.-Dallas drops into an elimination match against Schreiner University Friday morning.
The Cru fell behind 8-3 in the opening set, but battled back to take its first lead at 16-15. The set would be tied at 22, but Kendall Pye posted back-to-back kills and a UTD attack error ended the set. UMHB would fall behind 2-0 in the second set, but scored the next four points and never looked back in building a 2-0 lead. The third set was tight all the way and would be tied at 18 before consecutive kills from Sapphire Reid gave UMHB some breathing room. A Cheyenne Dowdey kill would close out the match and give the Cru its first win over the Comets in three tries this season.
Sapphire Reid led the Cru with 13 kills and Lauren Powell added 12 more. Both of those players also reached double figures in digs with 16 and 14 respectively. Shelby Prather recorded 33 assists and Kendall Pye led UMHB with 24 digs. The Cru hit .188 as a team and held the Comets to a hitting percentage of .065 in the victory.
Meredith Crawford led UTD with 14 kills. Kayla Jordan had 24 assists and Abbie Barth and Amy Gunter topped four players in double figures with 17 digs apiece.
The Cru improves to 22-6 on the season with the victory and set a new school single-season, NCAA Division III era record for victories. UMHB tops the previous mark of 21 set just last season. The loss drops the Comets to 24-6 on the year.
UMHB will now play in the winner’s bracket at 5:30 PM on Friday against the winner of tonight’s match between Hardin-Simmons University and East Texas Baptist. The winner of tomorrow’s match will advance to Saturday’s Championship Match. The loser of tomorrow’s match will turn around and play an elimination match at 7:30 PM Friday.