An old coach somewhere once stated, “If we’re going to play, we’re going to play to win.”
This little bit of sideline wisdom could easily be applied to the UT Dallas intercollegiate athletic program, which has now been both playing... and winning for more than a decade. Very few universities have enjoyed the remarkable, across-the-board success that UT Dallas’ athletic programs achieve seemingly every year.
There is no better example of this level of success than the Comets’ three primary fall sports – men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. This fall, things were no different. All three UT Dallas teams advanced again to their respective American Southwest Conference championship tournaments; all three played in the championship games of those tournaments and the
UT Dallas volleyball team actually won its first ASC title in program history.
The Comet volleyball program, which began just five years ago, gained momentum as the season progressed and capped everything off with a strong finish to claim its third straight ASC East Division title. The Comets (24-8) then went back to the conference tournament for the fifth straight year, and took care of Hardin-Simmons in the semifinals and East Division rival East Texas Baptist in the championship game to claim the ASC title. With the win, UT Dallas went to its first NCAA Division III national tournament, but was eliminated in the first round by nationally-ranked Southwestern University.
There was no conference title for either the UT Dallas men’s or women’s soccer teams, but both squads were playing for the crown on the final day of each tournament. It was the seventh straight year both teams had qualified for the post-season ASC event.
The UT Dallas women reloaded with a roster that included a number of talented freshmen in 2008, and finished as the second seed in the regular season. The Comets (14-4-3) advanced again to their fifth championship game in the last seven seasons, but were edged by six-time ASC powerhouse Hardin-Simmons in the championship.
The UT Dallas men, who won the ASC championship in 2007, seemed geared to repeat early in the season, but suffered several late season injuries that made their run to the conference tournament title game even more remarkable. The Comets (13-6-2) had to win two games in two days to make it to the championship game before falling 2-0 to UT Tyler in the final match.