The Winthrop volleyball team overcame a two-set deficit Friday afternoon but fell in a five-set thriller to North Texas on the first day of the Tiger Invitational
The two sides were all square through the opening 20 points with neither team squad able to reach more than a two-point advantage. North Texas (1-0) then went on a quick 4-1 run, grabbing a 14-11 edge. Winthrop stayed close, trailing by only two at 16-14, but North Texas slowly increased its lead to five at 20-15. The Eagles were able to get within three, but no closer, falling 25-19 in the first set.
Winthrop (0-1) was able to control the early points of the second set, holding at-most a three-point lead at 15-12. North Texas battled back on a 6-0 run, taking an 18-15 advantage. The Eagles weren’t too phased, battling back to tie the set at 21-21 but couldn’t retake the lead, falling 25-23.
The Eagles again took early control of the third set and this time did not relinquish the lead. Winthrop never trailed in the third set. Winthrop led 15-11 and fought off a hard charge by North Texas who was able to tie the set at 16-16. The Eagles responded with a quick 3-0 run and went on to take the set 25-19.
The fourth set was a roller coaster as North Texas controlled the beginning and Winthrop came on strong in the end. North Texas led by as much as four at 11-7, but the Eagles were able to slowly chip away at the deficit. Winthrop regained the lead at 15-14 and the teams started to trade points. With a tie score at 17-17, the Eagles went on a 3-0 run, taking a 20-17 edge and went on to take the fourth set 25-23.
Freshman Loudes Rosario led the Eagles with 18 kills and finished with a .405 attack percentage. Senior Rachel Lenz tallied 14 kills to go along with three blocks while junior Emma Weakland finished with 12 kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Freshman Madilyn McCarty finished with 46 assists while junior Maria Volstad totaled 14 digs.
Winthrop looked very strong to open the fifth set, taking an 8-5 edge. North Texas battled back to tie the set at 9-9 and the teams again traded points to an 11-11 draw. North Texas then took four of the final five points to take the fifth set 15-12.
The Eagles will return to the court on Saturday for the second day of the Tiger Invitational. Winthrop will face the host Missouri Tigers at 1:30 p.m. and North Dakota State at 4:30 p.m.