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HUNTSVILLE, Texas – In a hard-fought. five-set match between the top two seeds in the tournament, No. 2 seed UTSA upset No. 1 seed Central Arkansas (25-17, 25-22, 19-25, 21-25, 15-13) at the Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament Championship. With the win UTSA advances to its second NCAA tournament appearance in school history. The Roadrunners won the conference tournament in the 2000 season. UCA, which finishes with a school record of 28 wins, has no chance of making the NCAA tournament field as an at-large team, according to Sugar Bear coach Steven McRoberts. The Sugar Bears, the regular-season champions in the Southland Conference, were making their first appearance in the postseason tourney.
UTSA played the role of giant killer for the second time this season handing UCA (28-8) just its second loss to a Southland team in the last two years.
Three Roadrunners were named to the all-tournament team led by MVP selection, senior outside hitter Kendra Rowland. Sophomore setter Kelsey Schwirtlich and sophomore outside hitter Whitney Walls were also named to the all-tournament team.
Rowland, a first-team all-conference selection, led UTSA with 51 kills and had 50 digs and five blocks including four solos. Schwirtlich, also a first-team member, led all-tournament players with 142 assists. Walls was second on the team in kills with 42 and had five assists, four digs and five blocks. Central Arkansas senior outside hitter Chloe Smith and freshman setter Marissa Collins were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts.
Smith, the Southland player of the year, had 45 kills, 32 digs and 11 blocks. Collins, the conference freshman and setter of the year, had 128 assists, 14 digs and four blocks. Fox College Sports Central will air a replay of the volleyball tournament championship match at 11 a.m. today, and again at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Selection Show will air Sunday, Novv. 28 between 2 and 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPNews.