Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
ABILENE, Texas- The UMHB volleyball team extended its winning streak to three matches on Tuesday night in Abilene, sweeping McMurry. It marks UMHB’s first road win of the year, and moves the Crusaders to 2-1 in conference play.
How it happened
A quick start set the tone early for the visitors from Belton, who won the first set, 25-12, as outside hitter Kaylie Vasil tallied six kills. The key run in the opening set came after McMurry tallied a point of its own, cutting the deficit to 12-9. UMHB responded with an 11-1 run that gave the Crusaders a comfortable 23-10 advantage.
McMurry was not defeated easily in sets two and three, though UMHB won both, and swept the match. In the second set, McMurry took the lead at five different points, including a late 20-19 advantage that sparked four straight points from the Cru. UMHB pulled out a 25-22 victory, sealing the set win on a block from Dravyn Hurd and Ella Brunson.
In a closely contested third set, UMHB mounted another critical run midway through, tallying six consecutive points for a 16-12 lead. McMurry responded, however, tying the score at 21, then at 23, before consecutive kills from Brunson and Jenci Seahorn earned the Cru a narrow 25-23 win.
UMHB hit for a percentage of .197; the team’s second highest hitting percentage in the last six matches. That number was aided by the Cru’s strong first set, in which they tallied 11 kills on 33 attacks. UMHB also recorded five blocks; its highest total since the 3-2 loss five matches ago at ETBU on Sept. 8.
Katie Warden had another breakout performance, as the freshman led the team with 12 kills. She was the only Crusader in double figures in that category, though Vasil added nine and Hannah Frasca had four. Warden also led the team in blocks, with three. Alyssa Christiansen recorded 16 digs and three service aces, both team highs, while Brunson posted a team-best 20 assists.
UMHB, now 8-2 overall and 2-1 in ASC play, battles LeTourneau in Belton at 6 p.m. on Friday night. LETU is 1-1 in conference play, and 5-2 overall.