Photo: UTEP Athletics
NORMAN, Okla. – UTEP lost its two matches on the final day of the Oklahoma Invitational. The Miners fell to the tournament host Oklahoma, 0-3 (13-25, 16-25, 17-25), and to Oral Roberts, 1-3 (25-22, 22-25, 20-25, 20-25) at the McCasland Field House on Saturday.
In the first match against Oklahoma, the Orange and Blue was led by Lindsey Larson, who registered 13, assists, 11 digs, four kills and a block. True freshman Briana Arellano led the team in kills with nine and also picked up seven digs and a service ace. Macey Austin followed with six kills while Dalainee Perry totaled five kills. Amanda King recorded 12 assists and Sarah Villa notched 11 digs.
The Miners looked to bounce back in the match versus Oral Roberts in the afternoon. Larson picked up her third consecutive double-double with 23 assists and 12 digs while adding four kills, four blocks and two service aces. Perry led the squad with 10 kills while Arellano and Austin followed in suit with eight and seven kills, respectively.
Sarah Villa led the defense with a match-high 21 digs and also recorded five assists. Amanda King added eight assists and six digs on the defense and Kylie Baumgartner, who was quiet in the first match, tallied a total of four blocks and three kills.
Both teams were down 0-2 in the tournament and were battling to come out with a win from the weekend. The intensity showed as the first set of the match saw 11 tie scores and five lead changes. With the scored knotted at 20, the Miners pulled through with a 5-2 run to claim the first point of the match.
The second frame looked similar to the first set with back-and-forth points from the two teams. However, the Golden Eagles picked up momentum and never looked back, taking a 25-22 victory in the second frame.
ORU stormed out into the third set picking up a quick 12-4 lead. The Orange and Blue came up from behind and closed the gap to a three-point deficit but the Golden Eagles took the stanza, 25-20.
The fourth frame started with the Miners up 9-4 but ORU went on a 6-0 run to take the lead. From that point, the set saw seven tie scores, three lead changes and a tight point-for-point battle. Ultimately ORU claimed the final stanza, 25-20, and the match, 3-1.
Despite the 0-3 start for the Orange and blue this weekend, Larson was recognized for her outstanding performance by being named to the All-Tournament team.
UTEP will continue in tournament action next weekend as the team heads to the North Dakota Invitational. First, the Miners will take on North Dakota on Friday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. (MT) and will close out the tournament with a double-header on Saturday, Sept. 3 against Bradley at 9 a.m. (MT) and South Dakota State at 3 p.m. (MT).