(UMHB Athletics courtesy photo.)
(UMHB Athletics courtesy photo.)

BELTON – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor volleyball won the school’s first volleyball conference title since 1998 Saturday in a 3-1 win over U.T.-Dallas in Belton. This is the first conference title for UMHB volleyball in the American Southwest Conference and first under head coach Rob Frost.

UMHB trailed early in the first set, but overcame an eight-point deficit to open the match at 1-0 with a 25-23 first-set victory. U.T.-Dallas fought off an early Cru lead in the second set to tie the match at 24, before UMHB capitalized on the final two points to win the set 26-24. U.T.-Dallas took command of the third set, grabbing a 25-23 win over the Cru before UMHB took the fourth set 25-20 for the match and conference title.

Kendall Pye led the Cru 22 kills while Lauren Powell added 15, Cheyenne Dowdey and Abby Voskuil each added 12. UMHB hit 73 kills on 221 total attacks for a .208 hitting percentage in the match. Shelby Prather led the Cru with 35 assists while Pye added 30. Defensively, Pye had a match-high 31 digs followed by Prather with 24 and Voskuil with 23. Cheyenne Dowdey andBianca Patterson led the Cru’s defense at the net with five blocks each. UMHB limited the Comets to just 56 kills on 211 total attacks for a .185 hitting percentage.

Tournament MVP Kendall Pye led the tournament in kills (49), kills per set (4.08) and points (56) and second in digs (75). Pye also added 77 assists and two service aces. Shelby Prather joined Pye on the all-tournament team, ranking fourth in the tournament in assists with 83. Abby Voskuilwas UMHB’s third all-tournament member, totaling 36 kills and 51 digs. Other all-tournament team members included: Taylour Toso (UTD), Kayla Jordan (UTD), Kayla Taylor (ETBU) and Hannah Hornsby (HSU).

With the win, UMHB earns the league’s automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship. The NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship Selection Show is Monday, Nov. 10 at the 10 a.m. (CST)  and will be aired live online at NCAA.com