Stefano Rivera/Contributing Writer
On Sunday, Nov. 1, the women’s volleyball team hosted the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners, as it began its final home stand of the season. Coming into the game, the Panthers were a perfect 5-0 at Lime Court against Conference USA opponents.
As good as Florida International University has been at home, the Roadrunners were too much to handle. The Panthers fell in four sets with scores of 17-25, 27-25, 9-25 and 17-25 and fall to 13-10 (7-5 in C-USA). UTSA improves to 18-7 (9-2 in C-USA) and are currently in second in the C-USA standings.
The Roadrunners controlled the first set as junior outside hitter, Dajana Boskovic, finished with seven kills. Boskovic would finish the match with a game-high 21 kills.
“I think she had a really good match today,” head coach Rita Buck-Crockett said, “she passed well, she hit well from back row. They used her.”
The Panthers managed to tie up the match in the second set behind strong play from junior middle blocker, Katie Hogan. Hogan totaled four kills and posted a hitting percentage of .364. The team was down 6-16 towards the beginning of the match, but showed enough fight to split the first two sets.
UTSA took a 2-1 lead after winning the third set in dominating fashion. The Roadrunners held the Panthers to a hitting percentage of -.241 as FIU finished with 10 errors on only three kills.
In the final set, UTSA closed the deal with 14 total kills and a hitting percentage of .225. Once again, the Panthers struggled to hit, as they finished with a hitting percentage of .026. Sophomore outside hitter, Tia Clay, led the Panthers with four kills.
As a team, FIU finished with 32 kills and 29 errors, while posting a hitting percentage of .020. The team got outplayed in every facet of the game, including the blocking column.
“They are a very disciplined team. They have one way and they just do it,” Buck-Crockett said, “if they make a mistake, they go back and continue the same thing. They just chisel away.”
Along with Boskovic, sophomore outside hitter, Marijeta Runjic, finished with 15 kills for UTSA. Freshman setter, Amanda Gonzales, collected a match-high 44 assists. The Roadrunners totalled 56 kills, a final hitting percentage of .250 and eight aces. Defensively, they posted 72 digs and 10.5 total blocks.
Senior outside hitter, Lucia Castro, totaled 11 digs, which moved her to fifth all-time in program history. Freshman setter, Dominique Dodd, led the team in assists with 17.
The Panthers will host Western Kentucky University, on Friday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. WKU is currently atop the C-USA standings at 24-3 (11-1 in C-USA) and ranked No. 20 in the nation.
Buck-Crockett said, “We have to get more disciplined. We have to try to get (our focus) back before Friday.”
If the Panthers want to pull off the upset, they will need to learn from their mistakes and improve on their home conference record.