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Vaqueros tame Cougars UTRGV picks up first conference play win


By Jesus Sanchez

After a bumpy start in conference play, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Volleyball Team swept the Chicago State University Cougars 3-0 this afternoon at the Fieldhouse in Edinburg.

The Vaqueros, whose overall record is now 8-9 and 1-2 in conference, won the first set 26-24, the second set 25-22 and the third set 25-20.

“We did really good as a team,” sophomore right side hitter Bojana Mitrovic said after the game. “We paid a lot of attention to our serves and passes and I think that really helped. Once we picked that up, our game was better and we did really good as a team.”

Mitrovic led the Vaqueros with 23 kills and 14 digs. Junior right side hitter Alisha Watson finished with nine kills and one ace. Freshman middle blocker Alexandra Ecker recorded five kills, one block and one assist. Junior outside hitter Megan Dempsey tallied nine digs and two blocks.

“We came out and built on our momentum from Thursday night,” Head Coach Todd Lowery said after the game. “We got a great match out of [Mitrovic]. She played really, you know, smart. … Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way we played.”

On the Cougars side, outside hitter Elli Woinowsky led Chicago State University with 15 kills, three digs and two aces. Setter Brianna Stewart and middle hitter Arieta Vaimaona had six kills and two blocks each. Libero Shontanae Addison posted four aces, four assists and seven digs.

Chicago State’s overall record is now 1-16 and 0-4 in conference play. The next match for the Cougars is at 7 p.m. Friday against the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos in the Jacoby Dickens Center in Chicago.

Lowery said that the team will build on the much-needed victory against CSU.

“This helps us in building our momentum,” he said. “We need to get a couple of wins next week, but we felt that this was the match we needed to win, so it put a little bit of pressure and I thought we came out well on the first set. We just gotta build on the momentum and go with it.”

The Vaqueros will travel to Bakersfield, Calif., to face off against the California State University-Bakersfield Roadrunners (3-11 overall, 1-1 conference) at 7 p.m. Thursday for their fourth conference game of the season.

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