Photo courtesy UTEP
The UTEP volleyball team (13-14, 6-8) fell to No. 21 Rice (24-2, 13-1) in three sets (16-25, 13-25, 12-25), 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym.
UTEP was led by Kristen Fritsche, who posted a team-high 12 assists. Kenidy Howard and Mallory Yost led the attack with five kills each.
The Miners were going toe-to-toe with Rice to begin the first set. The score was 17-15 in favor of the visitors, when the Owls strung together five-straight points. Rice rode that momentum to a 25-16 set victory.
The Owls came out hot after the break, scoring the first six points of the second frame. The Orange and Blue were unable to inch any closer, falling to Rice, 25-13.
The Owls finished put the match with a 25-12 victory in the third game.
With Middle Tennessee winning its match and Charlotte losing today, the Miners are locked into the seventh seed for the Conference USA Tournament.
UTEP will play against Rice on Friday, November 22 at a time that will be announced by the league sometime today. This will be the third meeting between the two teams this season, and is the highest finish in the conference standings since 2012 for the Miners.
Next up, the Orange and Blue will travel to the C-USA Tournament to take on Rice on Friday, November 22 in Houston, Texas.