The UTEP volleyball team (17-6, 6-4 Conference USA) fell to UTSA in five sets, 3-2 (21-25, 25-14, 25-21, 30-32, 17-19) Saturday at the Convocation Center. Five Miners achieved season-high stats:
“It was a battle today,” head coach Ben Wallis said. “We did a lot of things right offensively for long stretches, but we just didn’t do enough block-and-defend when we needed to. We out-played ourselves.
Vittoria Price: 16 kills / 20.5 points / 3 service aces
Alyssa Sianez: 31 digs
Paulina Perez Rosas: 17 digs
Hande Yetis: 41 assists
Ava Palm: 16 points / 12 kills / 3 service aces/ 5 digs Vittoria Price was the top scorer for the match posting 20.5 points and led the Miners with 16 kills while hitting an impressive .750. UTEP had four additional players reach double-digit kills, Alianza Darley (15), Perez Rosas (15), Palm (12), and Yasso Amin (10). Yetis recorded a career-high of 41 assists. On the defense, Sianez set the pace with 31 digs while Perez Rosas recorded 17 digs for a double-double. The Miners totaled eight blocks and seven service aces. UTEP hit .370. The campaign recorded 80 kills, a potential conference-high on the year.
“We missed Serena (Patterson) in the fifth set, but I’m so proud of my team and their effort – to lose our top point scorer and our emotional/physical leader and still had opportunities to win the match in four, was a testament of our team,” Wallis said.
SET ONE: UTEP led the set early on and steadily continued. UTSA came off a 6-1 scoring run to take back the lead. The Miners were unable to catch up, as the Roadrunners went on another big scoring run to win the set, 25-21.
SET TWO: Serena Patterson suffered an injury and was unable to finish out the match. The Miners stayed strong to go on multiple 3-0 scoring runs to win the set, 25-14. The effort landed the Miners on the board, 1-1.
SET THREE: With only three lead changes, the Miners replicated their efforts with multiple scoring runs. Vittoria Price recorded three consecutive service aces to pull the campaign ahead. As UTEP reached set point UTSA attempted to rally with a 4-0 scoring run, but came up short. A kill by Yasso Amin would win the set, 25-21, with the Miners taking a 2-1 advantage in the match.
SET FOUR: The intense see-saw set consisted of 17 tied scores and seven lead changes. UTEP reached set point once again leading 24-21. The Roadrunners whipped out a scoring run to turn the set around and took the lead. After eight set points, UTSA grabbed the set win, 32-30, forcing a fifth set.
SET FIVE: Both teams turned up the heat as they repeated another energetic five-set match. Similar to the previous set, 15 tied scores, five lead changes and five set points later, UTSA won the match, 19-17.
“I’m disappointed in the loss,” Wallis said. “We had so many opportunities to win in the fifth set, but we just didn’t earn it. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory this afternoon which is really frustrating. This one’s going to hurt for a while because we had so many opportunities to win and we just weren’t able to do it.”
UTEP will be back in action as it returns home to host UTRGV (14-9, 5-4 WAC) on Nov. 3 at Memorial Gym.