UTEP Falls to Rice, 3-0

M. Patterson

Oct. 5, 2012


UTEP 0, Rice 3
Houston, Texas – UTEP volleyball falls short against Rice, 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-23) on Friday night.

Junior Jeane Horton led the Miners with 15 kills. Taylor Nix posted 11 kills while junior Xitlali Herrera had 12 digs, six kills and three block assists. Setter Malia Patterson registered a match-high 35 assists and added nine digs.

UTEP (10-8, 4-2 C-USA) totaled 41 kills, 40 assists, 56 digs and four team blocks but it wasn’t enough to stop the Owls who registered 14 total team blocks.

The Owls jumped out to an 8-5 lead with Rice scoring four consecutive points. The Miners battled back from the deficit with a kill by Jacqueline Cason, two kills by Nix and a block assists by Herrera and Horton to put UTEP within one, 11-12. Despite a Rice kill and a Miner attack error, a 3-0 run by the Miners tied the frame, 14-14. Both teams battled for control of the set, before a 5-1 Rice run had UTEP trailing by only four. The Miners would not go away, pulling together a 4-1 run of their own with a pair of kill by Nix and Horton, an ace by Victoria Valencia and an Owl attack error forcing Rice to call a timeout. The Owls ultimately closed out the set with two straight kills for a 26-24 victory.

The second frame was close from the start with neither team able to develop a lead greater than three points. More than halfway through the set, two straight Rice errors moved the Miners ahead 18-15 sending Rice to the bench for a timeout. The Owls answered back with a trio of kills tying the frame at 18-18. Once again the set would be tied with a block by Rice and a block assists by Herrera and Patterson. UTEP was not able to hold on as the Owls would prevail in the end, 25-22.

The Miners grabbed a 5-4 lead to start the third set scoring three straight points with a pair of kills and a Rice attack error. The Owls registered three kills and a block to take an 8-5 lead in the set. The squads would trade points until a 5-1 run by the Miners tied the frame, 14-14. The teams would battle it out and UTEP struck with three consecutive kills by Horton and two by Cassandra Burruel putting the Miners up by one. UTEP would force the Owls to commit three straight attack errors to cut Rices’ lead, 24-23. The Owls called a timeout that proved to be affective as they posted a kill to seal the match at 25-23.

UTEP will take on Houston on Sunday at 12 p.m. (MT) in Houston, Texas.



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