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Volleyball, Soccer Teams Win Conference Titles

Nov. 10, 2015

NCAA Volleyball selection

Members of the UT Dallas women's volleyball team react to learning that they will play Whitworth University in the opening round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament on Friday in Thousand Oaks, California.

The UT Dallas women’s volleyball and men’s soccer teams are celebrating after capturing their respective American Southwest Conference (ASC) titles over the weekend.

The No. 15-ranked UT Dallas women’s volleyball team won its first ASC title in six seasons Saturday afternoon with a 25-10, 25-19, 25-18 victory over defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor.

The Comets (30-2) hit .318 for the match and out-blocked the top blocking team in the ASC, 10-4, on the way to their 23rd consecutive victory and second 30-win season in program history. With the win, the Comets earned the ASC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Tournament.

The Comets will play Whitworth University (19-7) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.  

Senior setter Kayla Jordan, the NCAA D-III leader in assists per set, was named the tournament’s MVP as she delivered 34 assists, along with six digs and two blocks, in the title-clinching match. Junior Holyn Handley finished with 13 kills, hitting .429, while junior Michelle Toro had 12 kills, hitting .458. Both Handley and Toro joined Jordan on the All-Tournament Team.

The Comets came out blazing, hitting .455 for a 25-10 opening set win over the ASC West Division champions. Handley blasted six kills, without an error on eight swings, as UT Dallas set the tone for the match. The Comets hit .227 for the second set and .341 for the third to record their 11th match of the season with a .300 hitting percentage or higher. Toro wrapped up the match with six blocks, while Handley and freshman Kristyn Schott had four each. Schott and senior Kelsey Morrison each had three aces. Freshman Fayna Zeng had a match-high 16 digs.

Shelby Prather and Abby Voskuil of Mary Hardin-Baylor also were named to the All-Tournament Team, along with UT Tyler’s Rebecca Floyd and Concordia Texas’ Skye Truss.

UT Dallas will be playing the NCAA D-III National Tournament for the fourth time in program history and second time in three seasons. The Comets also won the ASC title in 2008 and 2009, and were chosen as an at-large selection for the event in 2013.

 
UT Dallas Men's Soccer team

The men's soccer team celebrates after winning the American Southwest Conference championship on Sunday in Tyler, Texas. The title is the first for the team since 2007.

Men’s Soccer

After 110 scoreless minutes, the UT Dallas men’s soccer team outlasted host UT Tyler, 6-5, in penalty kicks on Sunday to capture its third ASC championship in program history and first title in eight seasons.

The Comets (15-3-3) earned the ASC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Tournament. They will play regional host and No. 4-ranked Trinity University (19-2) at 11 a.m. on Saturday in San Antonio.

Junior goalkeeper Joseph Weber, who was named the ASC Tournament MVP, made the only save of the penalty-kick round as he stopped UT Tyler’s Samuel Huerta’s shot in the sixth round. Comets senior Roman Rodriguez made the title-clinching penalty kick to open the sixth round, striking a ball past John McGuffin.

The Comets struggled to keep the ball on UT Tyler’s end of the field during the first 45 minutes, taking just three shots before halftime. UT Dallas outshot the Patriots, 10-8, in the second half and 5-4 in the two overtime periods, but could not score.

UT Dallas had a late chance to win the game in regulation when Isaac Urcuyo found himself open with under a minute left to play, but his shot sailed high with 31 seconds left. Then, in the seventh minute of the first OT period,  Danny Meyer's shot hit the goal line, but was cleared by the Patriots. Neither team had a shot on goal in the second overtime.

Weber finished with seven saves, posting his seventh shutout of the season. The shutout was the Comets’ 13th of the season, a program record. Meyer led UT Dallas with five shots, four on goal, while Daaron McFarling took three shots. Meyer, Sam Konstanty and Jordan Rubel joined Weber on the ASC All-Tournament Team. Meyer was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, and Konstanty was selected Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

The Comets also won the ASC title in 2004 and 2007. UT Dallas will be playing in the NCAA D-III Tournament for the fourth time, including as an at-large selection last fall.

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