UTEP Volleyball Pushes UTSA To the Brink

The UTEP volleyball team (3-12, 0-3) fell to Conference USA front-runner UTSA (11-5, 3-1) in five sets (14-25, 26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 12-15), 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gym.

Libero Briana Bustillos was the anchor defensively for the Miners, locking in a career-high 29 digs. Senior Kylie Baumgartner dominated at the net with eight total blocks, and also provided seven kills. Team-captain Briana Arellano was all over the court with a double-double in kills (14) and digs (14).

Macey Austin and Serena Patterson both added double-digit kills. Freshman Kristen Fritsche led UTEP in assists (29), while Hayley Meshay posted her best performance of the season with 15 assists and five kills on a 1.000 hitting percentage.

In the first set, UTSA raced out to a 12-5 lead and never relinquished the advantage. The Roadrunners took the set, 25-14.

The second set was back-and-forth until UTEP took a 20-16 lead. The Miners held that lead and forced set point, 24-19, keeping UTSA on its heels. The Roadrunners, with their backs against the wall, put together a 9-2 run that earned them the set victory, 28-26.

The Miners found themselves once again with set point, 24-18. This time UTEP would not let this one go and earned the set, 25-19, off a sneaky kill from Meshay.

With the score tied at 8-8, UTEP went on a 3-0 run that helped give it space against the Roadrunners. That space helped the Miners balloon their advantage six points on the way to forcing a deciding fifth set, 25-19.

UTSA started out strong in the pivotal fifth set with a 4-0 run. Despite UTEP battling back to tie the set, that early run positioned the Roadrunners to match victory when they captured the set, 15-12.

Watts’s Thoughts

“I think you saw flashes of some really good play. Always our goal is to be more consistent. To be down 0-2 and make it go to five (sets) is a great testament to their willingness to battle.”

Net Notes

  • Kylie Baumgartner is now third all-time in block assists (295), and sixth all-time in total blocks (336)
  • Hayley Meshay recorded career highs in kills (five) and assists (15)
  • Briana Bustillos locked in a career high in digs (29)