SU Volleyball Digs Deep for UTPA Win

Iris Ivanis killed it for the Redhawks in Thursday’s WAC volleyball clash with Texas Pan-American that ended in a 3-0 Seattle University sweep.

“I realized it was time to step up finally,” Ivanis said. “We grew a lot as a team so I think that played a big role in our game.”

Seattle U started strong in the first set. About midway through, Martina Samadan blocked a UTPA error for a 15-8 lead. The Broncs fought back in the set and narrowed the score to 18-16.
Several points later, an Ivanis kill would earn set point for the Redhawks after which a Broncs error ended the 1st at 25-19. She lead the Redhawks in kills for the match with 15 while adding 8 digs for second most on the team.

The second set was back and forth throughout. Ivanis’ fifth kill of the set scored an 18-15 lead for Seattle U. However, UTPA responded with a 5-1 point run for a 20-19 lead after an Ivanis error. Later on in the second set knotted at 24 apiece, the Broncs earned a kill looking to tie the match 1-1. Then, Kerry Lane set up Ivanis for another kill with one of her 36 assists tying the set at 25. Lane then scored a service ace after a UTPA error winning the hard fought set 27-25.

“They really pushed back hard, fought us hard, and being able to close out in three (sets) was big for our team,” said Seattle U Head Coach James Finley. “We really needed to be able to push and close the door when we’re up.”

Seattle U took some momentum from the wild second set finish and raced out to a 12-4 start in the third set. The Redhawks got several points near the net. Lane scored a tip kill while Stephanie Stoll added a block, and Jelena Vujcin another kill for the early lead.

UTPA made it interesting by trimming Seattle U’s lead to 23-22 late in the third. Stoll answered with a spike kill after which Stoll and Vujcin paired together for a match-sealing block. The Redhawks totaled 12 team blocks as opposed to the Broncs’ four.

“It was really important to our team that we served tough and blocked well, we averaged over 4 blocks a set tonight, which is really good,” Finley said.

After two home matches this past week, the Redhawks will head on a WAC road trip with matches on Oct. 9 and 11against Chicago State and Kansas City respectively.

Connor may be reached at ccartmill@su-spectator.com

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