For just the third time in volleyball history, the volleyball team has been crowned as the champion of the ASC.
The team took home the trophy after being UMHB 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-18) on Nov. 7 in front of a raucous home crowd.
The Comets, who hosted the tournament after having the best regular season record in the conference, rolled through Concordia and the Cru in their first two matches before meeting up with UMHB for the second time in the playoffs.
Although the Cru took UTD to four sets in their previous match up the day before, UMHB couldn’t seem to find an answer to the Comets offense. Lead by juniors Holyn Handley and Michelle Toro, UTD picked up 43 kills to UMHB’s 34.
For the Cru, errors were fatal, as UMHB accumulated a total of 23 over the match.
Head coach Marci Sanders said her team knew the Cru’s strategy coming into the game.
“They’re a team that doesn’t change that much over the duration of a season,” she said. “We knew what they were going to do. In all honesty, looking at last night’s match, it wasn’t close … I changed the scouting report, a few things, after watching last night’s video. (The players) cleaned it up and they did a great job.”
After the game, three of the Comets were named to the All-Tournament team. Senior Kayla Jordan, who leads the NCAA in assists per set and picked up 34 assists in the championship match, was named tournament MVP. Handley and Toro also joined Jordan on the all-tourney squad.
Jordan, who is the first UTD player since 2009 to be named the tournament MVP, said this year’s team is the hardest working she has ever been on.
“Our defense, blocking, hitting, everything is just great. I love it,” she said.
For the upperclassmen on the team, the tournament crown has been a prize that has alluded them for years.
Toro said she almost cried after they finally won the match.
“It’s just such a great feeling,” she said. “Even knowing that your team deserves it and knowing that we put in all the work and we should be there … It’s not an expectation to win. We have to fight every time, every single match. For that to finally pay off and for how hard this team has worked and meshed together and how awesome it’s been of a long season, it’s really great.”
The Comets get an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament since they won their conference. UTD has put in a bid to host the first round and will be notified of the location of the games on Monday.
Sanders said there are already plans for a watch party to see if UTD will get to host.
“10 a.m., Monday morning, we will be right back in this room for that watch party,” she said.