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Suzanne Truitt/Danika Waldrep - UT Tyler Volleball (Sept. 16, 2011)

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Published on Sep 16, 2011

TYLER -- Coming into the 2011 season, the UT Tyler Patriots' volleyball team had never beaten American Southwest Conference rival East Texas Baptist, going 0-16 since the program began in 2003. All that changed Friday night at the Herrington Patriot Center as the Patriots rallied to defeat the Tigers, 3-1, in thrilling fashion in the Patriots' first home game of the season.

The win also marked the first home victory for new head coach Suzanne Truitt, who spent seven years as the head coach for ETBU before coming to UT Tyler.

Before a boisterous crowd of over 600, the Tigers drew first blood, winning the first set, 25-22.

The game's momentum shifted late in the second set when the Patriots appeared headed for defeat, down 24-19. The Patriots used an electrifying rally paced by stellar defense from Samantha James and Katye Stein, to storm back and claim a 26-24 victory, evening the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Patriots took control with a commanding 25-16 win and finished off the match with a 25-22 win in the final set.

Senior team captain Danika Waldrep led the Patriots with 20 kills, followed by sophomore Hannah Horton, who registered 10. Overall, UT Tyler recorded 55 kills as a squad in 122 total attempts.

Freshman libero Emily Wood contributed an impressive 31 digs and sisters Ashten and Danika Waldrep had 18 and 15 digs, respectively, as UT Tyler combined for 104 team digs, marking the second best single match total in program history.

Madison Kosir had a team-best 26 assists and added 13 digs for UT Tyler.

With the win, the Patriots move to 8-3 on the season and 2-0 in ASC play. ETBU falls to 2-7 and 0-2 in league action.

The home stand continues for the Patriots as they host LeTourneau on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Herrington Patriot Center.

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