Abilene, TX – The University of Mary
Hardin-Baylor volleyball team battled back from an early deficit, but
the Cru comeback fell short in a 3-1 loss to U.T.-Dallas in the
semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament
Saturday in Abilene.
UMHB fell 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-15. The loss closes out the best
Division III season in the history of the Cru volleyball program. The
Comets will now move on to the ASC Tournament Championship Match.
UMHB fell behind 15-9 in the opening set before
battling back to cut the lead to 18-17. UTD would answer with a 4-0 run
and the Cru would not get closer than four points the rest of that set.
The second set would be tied at nine before
the Comets took control with an 11-3 streak to go up 2-0. The Cru built
a 15-9 lead in set #3 and then held off a late UT-Dallas rally to cut
the overall lead to 2-1, but the Comets stormed out to a 16-4 lead in
the third set and the Cru would not recover.
Sapphire Reid led UMHB with 11 kills and she
added 16 digs. Tina Miller and Lauren Powell added 10 kills apiece.
Shelby Prather had 33 assists and 16 digs. Kendall Pye topped the Cru
with 23 digs and Kendra Feldmann chipped in 21 more.
UMHB hit just .112 as a team, but had five service aces and 5.0 team
Meredith Crawford led the Comets with 20 kills
and she added 17 digs. Abbie Barth posted 14 kills and 20 digs. Kayla
Jordan recorded 50 assists and Amy Gunter led UTD with 25 digs. The
Comets hit .220 as a team and matched UMHB with five
service aces and 5.0 team blocks.
The Comets will now advance to the Championship
Match at 3:00 PM to take on Hardin-Simmons University. UTD would have to
beat the Cowgirls twice to claim the title.
The loss ends UMHB's season at 22-8. The Cru set a new school single-season record for victories with the Division III era, topping last year's mark of 21. Saturday's loss also ends the playing careers of UMHB seniors Morgan Baker, Elise Butler, Tina Miller and Sapphire Reid. Six of the Cru's eight losses this season came against U.T.-Dallas and Hardin-Simmons.