The UTEP volleyball team fell in five sets to Rice (11-25, 28-26, 13-25, 25-20, 14-16) on Thursday in Houston, Texas.
Senior Talia Jones led the Miners’ offense by posting 18 kills while adding four digs and a block.
Setter Lindsey Larson registered 43 assists and 11 digs for her 16th double-double of the season and chipped in seven digs, three blocks and two service aces. Larson has recorded a total of 1,017 assists this season making it the most since 2013 when Malia Patterson finished with 1,118 assists.
The Miners posted 61 digs, 58 kills, 52 assists, 16 assisted blocks and two service aces but it was not enough to upset the Owls who recorded 75 kills, 73 digs, 68 assists and six blocks (2s/4a) and four service aces.
Rice quickly claimed the first match point as it held UTEP to a .094 hitting percentage, while it hit at a .517 efficiency in the opening set.
Both squads fought point for point in the second stanza as the set saw 6 tied scores and five lead changes.
A kill by Leah Mikesky knotted the score at 26, but Larson and Jones hammered back-to-back kills giving the set to the Miners, 28-26.
The Owls jumped out to a 20-12 lead in the third frame and closed out the set, 25-13 with a 5-0 run.
UTEP opened the fourth set with a 11-6 lead, forcing Rice to call a timeout. The Miners took advantage of the timeout to regroup as it came out to a 4-2 run to extend the lead to 15-8. UTEP led 24-15 before Rice took off to a 5-0 run late in the frame. However, it was not enough as Dalainee Perry hammered a kill finish off the fourth stanza, 25-20.
Rice wasted no time taking a 9-5 lead in the final set. The Miners took a timeout to regroup and came out to a 6-1 run to take a 11-10 lead. The score tied up three more times but the Owls ultimately won the fifth set, 16-14 and the match 3-2.
UTEP volleyball will continue on the road as it will travel to Bowling Green, Ky. to take on No. 24 Western Kentucky on Saturday at 11 a.m. (MT) in the Miner’s final conference match of 2015.
Author: UTEP Athletics