Photo by Andres Acosta – UTEP
The UTEP Volleyball team (13-4, 2-2 Conference USA) notched a second straight sweep against Louisiana Tech (6-14, 0-6 C-USA), 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-17) at Memorial Gym Saturday Afternoon.
Senior outside hitter Serena Patterson led the team with 11 kills. Senior setter Kristen Fritsche tallied 23 assists and 11 digs while sophomore Hande Yetis achieved 19 assists. Alyssa Sianez recorded a match-high 17 digs for the squad. UTEP racked up three service aces. Kenidy Howard (.444) and Alianza Darley (.444) led the team in hitting percentages over .400 among players with at least five kills. Ava Palm (.417) was also above .400.
The Miners achieved a season-high 14 blocks while hitting .274.
“The thing I really like about my team is that we have a big roster of really talented players and we’ll find a way to win,” head coach Ben Wallis said. “We will find a way to continue to grind it out and if you’re not getting your job done, I have players on the bench that can come in and do that.”
UTEP set the tone in the first set, coming out a 6-1 scoring run. A kill by Louisiana Tech’s Jaena Bell tied up the score, 21-21, but the Miners answered with a 4-1 scoring run to win the set, 25-22.
After coming off a 4-1 scoring run to start the second set, UTEP stuck with the lead. As the Lady Techsters attempted to rally, they were no match for the Miners’ 8-1 surge to take a 2-0 advantage in the match, 25-16.
The Miners utilized another large scoring run to kick off the final set. Back-to-back attack errors from LA Tech sent UTEP into match point where Howard would get the final kill to win the set and close out the match, 25-17.
“They are resilient and it’s hard to consistently play really well when you know you’re physically better than the other team,” Wallis said. “To be able to sit your top players both days and get some young players some time to play is a big deal and I’m proud of my team for stepping up.”