Volleyball Drops 3-0 Decision to Rice

Malia Patterson

Oct. 28, 2011

Box Score

Rice 3, UTEP 

EL PASO – The UTEP volleyball team fell in three sets to Rice (25-21, 25-22, 25-22) on Friday in Memorial Gym.

UTEP (16-9, 6-6) had two players record double figures in digs as Stephanie Figueroa picked up 16 and Victoria Valencia had 10. Figueroa also registered four service aces for the Miners.

UTEP’s Xitlali Herrera posted 12 kills and seven digs for the match. Malia Patterson tallied a match-high 36 assists and added seven digs.

Despite UTEP’s defensive effort that included 53 digs and 10 blocks, the Owls (13-10, 8-4) posted 26 blocks (2s/24a) and hit .274 for the match.

Leading the Owls was Nancy Cole who pounded 15 kills, seven blocks (2s/5a) and hit a .433 for the contest.

UTEP ran away with a 3-1 run with a kill by Jacqueline Cason to open the match. Both teams battled for control and a service error by Daniela Arenas tied the set at 7-7. UTEP continued to fight back with a pair of kills by Herrera and Bridget Logan to give the Miners an 11-9 lead. Herrera continued to fire back extending the Miners lead to 15-12. But the Owls came back from the deficit with three consecutive points to tie the set 15-15. A block assists by Rice’s Laurie McNamara and Jillian Humphrey gave the Owls it’s first lead of the night at 18-17, forcing a UTEP timeout. The Miners weren’t able to come back from the deficit, as a kill by Cole would close out the set, 25-21.

The Owls jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the second frame. UTEP fought back to take the lead at 7-5 off a kill by Herrera. A service ace by Figueroa and a kill by Marie-Therese Joyce put the Miners ahead, 10-8. UTEP continued to charge with a chain of three kills giving the Miners a 15-11 advantage. Rice fought back with three consecutive points to tie the set at 16-16, forcing a UTEP timeout. Both teams went back and forward, until a kill by McNamara and a UTEP attack error sealed the set at 25-22.



Both teams struggled to take control of the third stanza but a Rice ball handling error, a service ace by Rachel Scott and a kill by Patterson gave the Miners a 6-4 lead. The Miners were unstoppable as three consecutive strikes by Jeane Horton, extended UTEP’s lead to 9-7. Figueroa fired away at the service line with back-to-back aces to give the Miners a 13-9 lead, forcing a Rice timeout. A service error by Arenas and a kill by Horton gave UTEP a 19-15 lead forcing another Owl timeout. Rice rallied back, with a pair of kills by McNamara and Cole knotting the set at 22-22. The Owl took the victory with a block assists by McNamara and Cole, closing the set at 25-22. 

The Miners remain at home to welcome Houston on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 12 p.m.      

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