MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The UTEP volleyball team took down the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in straight sets (25-15, 27-25, 25-17) on Sunday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
With the win, the Miners improved to 5-19 overall and 3-8 in the league.
Ashley Grzebeniak paced the offense with nine kills while hitting at an impressive .421 clip. Briana Arellano followed with eight total kills and Macey Austin contributed seven.
Amanda King and Lindsey Larson aided the offense with a total of 15 and 14 assists, respectively.
On defense, Sarah Villa led the Miners with a total of 12 digs while Niki Cebak followed with eight. Tatum Winter registered a match-high six blocks from the net.
UTEP took control early in the opening frame. The Miners stormed out to take a 5-1 lead and never looked back. Middle Tennessee called a timeout as they trailed, 11-16, but UTEP’s momentum continued through the remainder of the first set. The Orange and Blue claimed the first point of the match with its 25-15 victory in the first.
The second set was a different story as the Miners looked to take a 2-0 match lead and the Blue Raiders were fighting to get on the board before the intermission. The set saw 13 knotted scores and seven lead changes as the teams fought back and forth until the very end. Ultimately the Miners won the second set, 27-25, to take a 2-0 match lead.
The Orange and Blue’s confidence was radiating going into the third set as the squad took a 5-1 lead early in the stanza. The Blue Raiders cut UTEP’s lead by two but the Miners responded by going off on a 3-0 run to force Middle Tennessee to call its first timeout of the frame as it trailed 11-16. The Blue Raiders were able to put up six more points against the Miners but it was too late as the Miners claimed the third set, 25-17, and the match 3-0.
The Miners will be hosting three home matches next weekend. Action will begin on Thursday as the squad will host UT-Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, Florida International on Friday and Florida Atlantic on Sunday. All matches will be played in Memorial Gym.