An all-time best 20 team blocks in a four set match and two double-doubles led the UTEP volleyball team past FAU, 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 14-25, 25-22) on Sunday Afternoon at Memorial Gym.
Sophomore Kylie Baumgartner paced the Miners (8-19, 5-8 C-USA) with a career-high 11 kills on a .421 hitting percentage and 12 blocks. Lindsey Larson connected for 35 assists and added 12 digs, six blocks, four kills and a service ace. Sarah Villa topped the Miners with a total of 13 digs.
After FAU went off on a 4-2 lead early in the first frame, UTEP responded with an 8-2 run to take a 10-5 lead. Head coach Holly Watts called a timeout later on in the period as FAU came within three points, 22-19, but the regroup benefitted the Miners as a kill and block by Baumgartner as well as an error on the Owl’s side gave UTEP a 25-19 win in the first.
UTEP came out firing in the second set with a 7-2 lead. A 4-0 run brought the Owl’s within four points, 21-17, but UTEP once again pulled away with a 25-20 victory in the second set to go into intermission with a 2-0 match advantage.
The tables turned after the break as FAU came out to a 6-2 lead to force a UTEP timeout. The Miners struggled to fight the Owl’s momentum as FAU extended its lead, 20-9. The Orange and Blue was able to put up five more points in the set but the Owl’s early lead was too much for the Miners and they dropped the third set, 14-25.
The Orange and Blue was able to recover its rhythm from the first two sets as they went into the frame with a 5-1 lead. FAU went on a 4-0 run later on in the set to come within two points, 24-22, but the Miners closed out the set, 25-22 and the match, 3-1.
UTEP will conclude its Conference USA schedule at Marshall next week in an early week match. The Herd will host the Miners on Thursday in Huntington, W. Va. at 4 p.m. (MT).