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UTRGV picks up fifth straight win

Junior Ragni Steen Knudsen soars to spike the ball in the team’s WAC opener at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. Knudsen posted 13 kills, two serving aces and seven digs in last night’s sweep of the University of Missouri-Kansas City 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-17). BRYAN RAMOS/THE RIDER

The UTRGV Women’s Volleyball team extended its winning streak to five last night by taking down the University of Missouri-Kansas City 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-17).

UTRGV beat UMKC in straight sets, picking up its fifth sweep of the season. Starting out pretty rough, UTRGV was down in the first set 8-1, which became 10-6.

Without hesitation, junior Ragni Steen Knudsen turned it on and led UTRGV to a lead of 20-19. UMKC got the next three points on serves and found themselves up 22-20. With the first set all tied up at 24, Knudsen came through in the clutch and put the set away with one of her signature kills.

UMKC managed to fight back by leading most of the second set, but it was not long for UTRGV to make a comeback and put them out front 23-21. With UTRGV at game point, Knudsen again ended the set with a signature kill.

“It feels really good, like, we are a good team that comes back even though we were under and I feel really good about that,” she said.

In the third set, the tables turned and UTRGV had a great start which allowed them to be in control from the beginning. UMKC fired up their serves making the score 9-7, but Alexandra Ecker, Bojana Mitrovic, and Talita Oliveira put UMKC’s fire out with some kills. UTRGV won the third set 25-17 to seal the sweep.

“We came out a little bit flat, and as a staff we were hoping that wasn’t gonna happen, but a little bit of an expectation after an emotional win against New Mexico State last weekend,” said Head Coach Todd Lowery. “We talked to the girls about it, that’s gonna be the challenge of this team; how do we play that level of volleyball when it is not New Mexico State across from us. I think they came out and stepped it up a little bit in set three, but we got a lift of the bench from a couple of kids that got us back on track and we’re happy with the win tonight.”

Knudsen led UTRGV with 13 kills and two blocks. Mitrovic followed with 10 kills and two blocks while sophomore Barbara Silva continued the good play with eight kills and four blocks.

With the win, UTRGV improves to 8-7 overall and 2-0 in Western Athletic Conference play. The team will take the floor again versus Chicago State University at noon on Saturday in the UTRGV Fieldhouse.

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