Aug. 30, 2008
EL PASO, Texas – Catherine Chavez recorded her second double-double in as many games this season as the Miners blanked the New Jersey Institute of Technology 3-0 at the Sun Bowl Invitational on Saturday morning.
“We played a little more steady today,” head coach Ken Murphy said. “The team was a little less nervous and that is something that we need to continue to improve on.”
Tied 6-6 in the first set, UTEP capitalized from a couple of Highlander errors and a pair of kills courtesy Keisha Hyman-Gifth and Amy Sanders to pull away to an 11-6 lead. Hyman-Gifth recorded five of her six kills of the match in game one to lead the Miners to a 25-18 win.
The Miners came out on top again after a competitive, 25-22, set to take a 2-0 lead.
Senior Daidre Mendenhall’s commanding presence at the net was a deciding factor leading all players with six kills in set two.
“Daidre was very dominant at the net and we need that from our seniors,” Murphy said. “Cat (Chavez) and Amy (Sanders) contributed to the leadership by getting into a much better game mode. They were able to play better defense and in turn play better volleyball overall.”
A consistent attack team led by Chavez allowed the Miners to jump to a quick 8-1 lead in the third set. The Highlanders mounted a rally halfway through the set to pull within four, but the Miners responded and six consecutive serves from Marie-Therese Joyce set up a match point for the Miners.
Chavez finished with 12 kills and 10 digs for the match, while Hyman-Gifth tallied a match-high .667 hitting percentage. Sanders was equally impressive with nine kills, 17 digs and four aces.
The team combined for 16 total blocks led by Mendenall and Patty Jarmoc with five each.
The Miners will return to the court later this afternoon to face Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. At 2-0, the Golden Eagles remain the only undefeated team at the Sun Bowl Invitational.