IRVING, Texas - The No. 4 seed University of Dallas volleyball team won a five set thriller 29-27, 20-25, 25-22, 26-28, 15-10 over the No. 5 seed Centenary College on Friday evening. The Crusaders (20-13, 7-9 SCAC) reached 20 wins for the first time since the 2014 season. Dallas had a season team high in digs (107), blocks (10), kills (65), and assists (61). This was also the tenth match on the season that UD eclipsed double-digits in service aces.
In a match that had 33 ties and 14 lead changes, the Crusaders were able to squeak past the Ladies (17-18, 7-9 SCAC) in the first match of the 2018 SCAC volleyball tournament hosted by UD. In the first set Dallas had a 4-2 lead, when the Ladies scored three-straight points on three kills by Alyssa Davis. UD earned a 13-10 lead with a service ace by Elizabeth Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and a kill by Ellise Anable (Phoenix, Ariz.) along the way. A 4-0 run by the Ladies erased that lead thanks to a service ace by Marissa Sandoval on the run. Both teams fought back-and-forth down the stretch, as UD saw match point with a 24-22 score. Elizabeth Epley and Alyssa Davis hit two kills to ruin that Dallas chance. The Crusaders squeaked out the first set with a 29-27 win.
Dallas had a 6-3 lead in the second set, but a 6-0 run put the Ladies back in the lead. Sandoval had two aces along the run. Centenary held the lead throughout the rest of the set. The Crusaders kept it close, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
In the third set the Ladies opened up a 6-1 lead. To get within one point, Dallas went on a 4-0 run with a couple of kills by Dayjah Whyte (Round Rock, Texas). The Ladies kept the lead until Dallas slowly scratched back to tie the match at 11. Centenary regained the lead (19-17) with a kill by Rachel Demerjian. Attack errors by the Ladies helped UD get the set tied at 21. A 3-0 run was capped off by a block assist by Anable and Anna Stevenson (Dallas, Texas). Hailey Lawson had a kill for the Ladies, but Isabel Garcia (San Antonio, Texas) ended the set for UD with a key kill.
Dallas had a 10-3 lead in the fourth set, but Centenary kept close with key kills along the way with seven kills in the fourth set by Makenzie Shaw Dallas kept the lead through the whole match and saw set point with a 24-22 lead, but three-straight points kept Centenary in the set. Anable and Garcia had kills late, but Davis had two kills to for the Ladies to send the match to a fifth set.
Dallas started the fifth set on fire with a 7-3 lead with kills by Whyte and Anable, while Garcia added an ace. Back-to-back points for the Ladies kept set five at arm's reach. Dallas opened up a 13-9 lead with key kills by Stevenson and Anable. Garcia hammered a kill and gathered a service ace to grab the five-set win for UD.
Anable produced her seventh double-double on the season with a team-leading and personal-best 17 kills and a career-best 22 digs. Porras followed Anable with a personal-best 16 kills.
Whyte and Garcia both had 12 kills to help the UD offense. Dallas had a quintet of players reach double-digits in kills. Garcia had a career-high and a team-leading 30 digs, with Krystyn Pua (Escondido, Calif.), Anable, Sarah Hughes (Fair Oaks, Calif.) and Smith having 25, 22, 15, and 13, respectively.
Smith dished out 54 assists for her second all-time best.
Dallas out blocked Centenary 10-6.
Dallas has now won three SCAC tournament quarterfinal matches. The last win was a five set win in 2014 over Texas Lutheran at Austin College.
The Crusaders are now 2-0 all-time in SCAC tournament matches against Centenary College.
UD beat Centenary in all three matches in 2018.
Dallas will play the No. 1 seed Colorado College on Saturday. First serve is set for noon.