Photo courtesy UTEP Volleyball/Twitter
PORTLAND, Or.- Sophomore outside hitter Briana Arellano and senior setter Amanda King notched their second double-double of the season, but the UTEP volleyball team dropped its two matches at the Nike Invitational in Portland, Ore. on Friday.
The Miners fell to CSUN 3-0 to open up the Invite and lost 3-0 to tournament host Portland to end the first day. Play will continue tomorrow when UTEP battles Portland State to close out the Nike Invitational.
Arellano recorded 10 kills and a career-high 14 digs against Portland on her way to her second double-double of the season, her first coming from last Sunday’s match against Abilene Christian. King’s 19-assist, 10-dig performance against the Pilots put her second double-double under her belt.
MATADORS RUN PAST MINERS
UTEP opened play at the Nike Invitational against CSUN, and though they battled, the Matadors swept the Miners 25-17, 25-13, 25-18.
The Miners were led by Arellano with seven kills, followed by Macey Austin with six. King led the Miners with 22 assists and also led the team in digs with nine.
In total, UTEP recorded 26 kills, 24 assists, 25 digs and four total blocks, while the Matadors notched 42 kills, 37 assists, 34 digs and five total blocks.
After dropping sets one and two, the Miners came out fighting in set three, blanking the Matadors 3-0, with the help from a Maddie Morgan and Cheyenne Jones block assist. However, the Matadors would go on a run themselves to tie the game at three.
The two consecutive CSUN points would be immediately answered by UTEP at the hand of back-to-back Arellano kills, giving the Miners the 6-3 edge. After a kill and a Miner error, Arellano again came to end a potential CSUN run, bringing the score to 7-5 in UTEP’s favor. The score would tie three times before the Matadors pulled away to take the set 25-18, and the match 3-0.
PILOTS UPEND MINERS
A fired-up Miner squad entered their second match of the day going toe-to-toe with tournament host Portland, going on a 2-0 run to bring the score to 4-1 to open the first set. A back and forth effort would ensue before the Pilots pulled away to a 17-10 lead. After a UTEP timeout, freshman Mallory Yost would begin a 3-0 Miner run with her kill, complimented by kills from Arellano and King to bring the Miners within three.
The teams would both answer from each other’s kills and errors, before consecutive kills by Yost would stop the Pilots at set point and bring the Miners within two. Portland would end the set with a kill, 25-22, for the set one victory and pave the way for a 25-13, 25-15 victory in sets two and three.
The Miners were led by Arellano’s 10 kills, followed by Yost with six. King dished out 19 assists and sophomore libero Niki Cebak paced the Miner defense with 15 digs.
Team totals for the Miners included 27 kills, 24 assists, 58 digs and five total blocks. Portland accumulated 41 kills, 36 assists, 64 digs and four total blocks.
The Miners will return Saturday to battle Portland State in the Nike Invitational finale. First serve against the Vikings is set for 12 p.m. (MT). Live stream for the match can be found at https://watchstadium.com/live/portland-state-vs-utep/ and live stats will be available via http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=187828.