Photo by Andres Acosta/UTEP
RUSTON, La. – Head coach Ben Wallis said the Miners’ sweep of the Lady Techsters was yet another building block for the future of his program.
“It’s what my team expected to get,” Wallis said. “It’s what a good volleyball team that’s competing to put themselves in a good spot to (earn a high) seed needs (to do).”
But UTEP volleyball’s (7-6, 6-4 C-USA) second series sweep of the season following its win over Louisiana Tech (1-19, 0-12 C-USA), 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-17), in the Thomas Assembly Center Monday afternoon was far from its most perfect straight-set victory over an opponent.
The Miners hit .237 and averaged seven attack errors per set – their highest average in a win this season.
“While I’m pleased we got out of (Ruston) with two wins and swept and opponent we should have in back-to-back days, I’m just concerned about the lack of awareness of our team whacking the ball out of bounds,” Wallis said. “We’re a better offensive team than that.”
UTEP tied its highest kill total in a set this season with 18 to open the match. Outside hitters Paulina Perez Rosas and Cheyenne Jones each contributed five apiece while Serena Patterson added another three of her own.
In the second set, the Miners got out to a 14-11 lead. Ten of those Lady Techsters’ points were the result of errors by UTEP. The Miners finished the set with more errors (7) than the Lady Techsters had kills (9).
However, in the third, UTEP’s offensive attack found its rhythm going on three separate runs of 4-0. The Miners hit its best in that frame at a .333 clip. Jones compiled another five kills to finish the match tied for a team-high 11 kills. Pérez Rosas and Palm also reached the 11-kill mark.
Palm also compiled ten digs for the second time this weekend for back-to-back double-double performances and her third double-double of the season.
The Miners continued their string of dominance at the service line in conference play with another seven aces today, four of them in the fourth set. Junior setter Kristen Fritsche compiled back-to-back aces to push the Miner lead to 18-13.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
- Freshman setter Hande Yetis: 20 assists
- Junior outside hitter Serena Patterson: Nine kills, two block assists
Up next, UTEP volleyball will compete to seal the second seed in the C-USA’s West Division versus Southern Miss March 26 and 27 at 12 p.m. and 11 a.m. MT, respectively, after being selected to finish fourth in the division in January’s Preseason Poll.
For complete coverage of UTEP Women’s Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @utepvb (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.