LUBBOCK – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros volleyball team extended its program-record winning streak to 11 games by defeating the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles 3-1 (25- 18, 27-25, 15-25, 25- 16) at the Red Raider Classic on Friday at United Supermarkets Arena.

At 11-1, the Vaqueros extend their record for best start as an NCAA Division I program.

UTRGV is looking to keep rolling at 5 p.m. against SMU.

UTRGV Head Coach Todd Lowery now has 28 neutral venues won at the UTRGV, breaking the previous program record of 27 held by David Thorn (1998-06). The winningest head coach in program history, Lowery now holds 14 different coaching records.

Senior Sarah Cruz led the Vaqueros with 15 kills and 12 digs for his fourth double-double. Junior Luisa Silva Dos Santos recorded 11 kills for .435 with a career-high eight digs and four blocks. Second year Perris Key recorded a career-high nine kills and a season-high five blocks. Second year Claudia Lupescu posted eight kills and nine digs. Second year Marguerite Giani finished with five wins. Second year Luanna Emiliano delivered a season-high 43 assists with 19 digs for his eighth double-double. Junior Regina Tijerina completed with 19 digs.

Trinity Freeman led the Golden Eagles (2-8) with 12 kills and eight digs. Kaia Dunford recorded 10 casualties and 11 searches. Sakira LaCour posted eight kills and 10 blocks. Kalena Vaivai delivered 34 assists with 10 recoveries. Chloe Salcedo completed with 18 digs.

The Vaqueros took a 3-0 lead in the first set on a Key kill. The Eagles fired four times, including 5-6 before a Lupescu kill sparked a 4-0 run to give the Vaqueros a 10-5 lead. The Vaqueros and Golden Eagles traded points for much of the rest of the set. Then, with the score at 18-15, the Vaqueros went on another 4-0 run, capped by a kill from Cruz, to push the set out of reach.

The Golden Eagles won the first three serves of the second set before Cruz and Key’s kills kicked off an 8-1 run to give the Vaqueros an 8-4 lead. The Golden Eagles won six of the next nine serves to draw within 10-11. Two serves later, Giani and Key pushed back with kills to extend the Vaqueros lead to 14-11. The Golden Eagles scored three of the next four points to close again before a pair of Lupescu wins fueled an 8-3 run to give the Vaqueros a 23-17 lead. The Golden Eagles responded with an 8-1 run to go up 25-24 before a kill from Giani tied the set, a block from Key and Santos brought the Vaqueros to set point, and a kill from Key ended the set.

After giving up the third set, the Vaqueros trailed 3-6 in the fourth set before a pair of Santos kills helped the Vaqueros to six straight points to move up 9-6. Three serves later, with the score at 10-8, the Vaqueros made an 8-0 run that included kills from Santos, Giani, Cruz and Emiliano to push the set out of reach.

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