The UTEP Volleyball team (8-10, 1-4) swept LA Tech (11-8, 1-4) in three sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-20), 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gym.
The Miners were a force on the offensive end, hitting a red-hot .381 hitting percentage as a team. UTEP out dug the Lady Techsters 45-33, and posted five more blocks than LA Tech.
The Orange and Blue saw incredibly efficient days from Cheyenne Jones, Serena Patterson and Anamarija Mikovic. Jones led the way with 14 kills on a .545 hitting clip. Patterson wasn’t far behind with 13 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. Mikovic came in with 11 kills, and hit .320.
Syenna Masaki produced a career-high 30 assists to help set up the offensive performance of the Miners. Kenidy Howard was a force at the net with a team-high six blocks, and Alex Torres locked in 14 digs as the libero.
UTEP cruised to victory in the first two sets, and in the first frame LA Tech only held the lead for two points. In the second game, UTEP produced a wire-to-wire victory.
The third set was in jeopardy for the Orange and Blue, with the Lady Techsters jumping out to a 15-9 lead. However, UTEP would string together eight straight points, regaining the lead and the momentum. The Miner would outscore LA Tech 16-5 to close out the match.
Coach Wallis’s Thoughts
“First and foremost Jessica Landeros, a freshman from El Paso, who hasn’t played in a match this year helped stabilize us. You can’t really tell in the box score, but she was solid. She gave us another pin player that does the right thing, slows the ball down and gave us another opportunity to side out in different ways. We passed it well and were really efficient offensively. It was nice to see us get back to aggressively attacking it. We have been working on something new with our middles, and we aren’t very good at it yet, but we are trying to grow and be different. Sometimes when you experiment with lineups and change the pieces a lot you can look like a hot mess like we did on Friday. Eventually at some point they start to understand we can be a chameleon, and we can do different things. Our lefts were very efficient today, Ana (Mikovic) and S.P. (Serena Patterson), but really everybody was efficient. It was nice to see Cheyenne (Jones) get back up there and just start being aggressive and attacking it. We were much better defensively than we have been. We also got behind the service line and served it the way we are capable of, which is tough and efficient and attacking. All five phases we played very well today. I am very proud of them, coming off of a heartbreaking loss on Friday where we didn’t play well at all.”
Next up, the Miners will play at FIU on Friday, October 18 at 5 p.m. MT.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
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