Photo: UTEP Athletics
The UTEP volleyball team dropped its Sunday match to Southern Miss in straight sets in Memorial Gym.
With the loss, the Miners move to 4-14 overall and 2-3 in Conference USA while the Golden Eagles improve to 14-4 overall and 3-2 in the league.
Redshirt freshman Ali Vidali paced the UTEP squad with a total of seven kills while senior duo Lindsey Larson and Tatum Winter hammered a total of five kills each. Macey Austin also made a contribution to UTEP’s 29 total kills by adding four of her own.
Larson and Amanda King have both make an impact at the setter position this season. Larson totaled 15 assists against Southern Miss and King notched nine.
Senior Sarah Villa reached double-digits in digs once again with a team-best 15 digs on the match.
The first set was tied, 9-9, before the Golden Eagles went on a 4-0 run to take a 13-9 lead and force UTEP to call its first timeout. The teams went back and forth after the break but Southern Miss picked up momentum once again with a 5-0 run and the Miners led their second timeout. The Orange and Blue would score three more points in the set but the Golden Eagles claimed the first match-point with a 25-17 win in the first.
Southern Miss stormed out in the second set, taking a 14-7 lead before UTEP called a timeout on the court. Kylie Baumgartner came out of the break hammering down a powerful kill to spark a point-for-point battle between the two teams.
The Miners came up from behind within three points of the Golden Eagles but it was not enough and Southern Miss took a 2-0 match advantage with a 25-17 victory in the second period.
Even though there was only one tie score, the teams fought a tight battle in the third stanza of the match. Southern Miss was up 23-19 but the Miners picked up rhythm and went off on a 3-0 run to set the score at 23-22 and the Golden Eagles called a timeout to regroup. The Golden Eagles would not allow UTEP to score another point in the match as they sealed the match with a 25-22 win in the third and final frame.
Next up for the Orange and Blue are a pair of road matches. First, UTEP will take on North Texas in Denton, Texas on Friday and follow that match with the second battle of the season against UTSA in San Antonio on Sunday.