The University of Dallas volleyball team (6-3) won two games at home in the UD Classic against Mississippi University for Women and Randall University this past Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15. The UD Blue Crew electrified the air, cheering on their team as the Crusaders took on Mississippi University for Women (1-12). Dallas dominated the Owls in three quick sets, winning by final scores of 25-4, 25-13 and 25-19.
“We were really lucky to have such a big crowd led by the Blue Crew on Friday,” said senior Elizabeth Smith of Broken Arrow, Okla. “It was really exciting to have that energy in the gym.”
Freshman Lexi Shafer of Sugarland, Texas, helped kick off a 9 point run by Dallas, with 8 points coming off of Shafer’s serves. The Owls struggled against UD’s serves, committing error after error, unable to gain a solid foothold in the face of the UD offense. Building on last weekend’s performances, Dallas continued their offensive hot streak with 49 offensive kills in one night.
“As a team we’ve been working really hard in practice,” said Smith. “We added a lot of freshmen to the lineup this year, so it’s been fun changing up our offense and getting our young team some real game wins before conference starts.”
Behind each successful hit of every attacker is a strategic setter. Smith, the team’s setter, set the bar high in her position as setter, with 31 assists and 10 digs in the first game. She now has 157 assists for the year and the fifth highest all-time total of assists in UD history.
Dallas continued their five-game winning streak on Saturday when they faced off against Randall (6-9). Freshman Dayjah Whyte of Round Rock, Texas, continued to be a major offensive presence for UD by leading the team with a personal best of 15 kills.
Dallas as a team dominated offensively with 50 kills, one of the highest marks in that category for the 2018 season. Shafer kept up her stellar serves, racking up a collegiate personal best of 5 service-aces. The Saints fell in 3 matches against the Crusaders, with final scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-18.
“We are hosting the SCAC tournament this year and in volleyball the host team doesn’t get an automatic bid, so our number one goal for this season is to make sure we are playing in the tournament,” said Smith. “It was really fun to come out so dominantly in our last first home game. We had the chance to change up our lineup quite a bit so most people got to play, which is also always fun to do at home.”
Dallas travels to play Arlington Baptist College on Tuesday, Sept. 18, looking to continue their winning streak. Dallas has not had a longer winning streak since the 2014 season, when the team won seven straight games.