Nov. 2, 2012
UTEP 3, SMU 1
EL PASO- The UTEP volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16) victory against SMU on Friday night.
Xitlali Herrera hammered a match-high of 18 kills with only three errors on 27 attempts. The middle blocker earned the No. 2 spot in the UTEP recordbook for hitting percentage in four set recording a .556 efficiency.
Jeane Horton posted 12 kills, while Jacqueline Cason registered eight and added three block assists. Setter Malia Patterson also tallied a match-high of 47 assists and totaled five digs for the Miners.
UTEP (14-11, 8-5 C-USA) hit .281 versus the Mustangs and finished the match with eight total team blocks as they defeated SMU in four sets.
SMU grabbed a 4-2 lead to start the match, but a kill from Horton and a block by Cassandra Burruel had the score knotted at 4-4. Cailin Bula put the Mustangs back in the lead, but a 4-0 run by the Miners had UTEP with an 8-5 lead. Both teams went back and forward until back-to-back SMU kills put the Mustangs within one at 11-12. The Miners answered back with a pair of kills by Horton and Jacqueline Cason taking a two-point edge. Cason would add another kill and an ace by Ashley Peak to force the Mustangs to call a timeout at 16-12. The squads would trade points, until UTEP dominated with a 7-1 run led by Herrera who hammered three kills, 24-15. I Miner service error would give the Mustangs a point, before another kill by Herrera sealed the frame at 25-16.
The Miners rushed out to a 4-2 advantage with two consecutive attack errors by SMU. The two teams battled for control of the stanza, but a 3-1 run by the Mustangs gave SMU a one-point edge at 10-9. UTEP would not go down so easy, pounding a 5-1 run with two kills by Cason. SMU answered back with a 7-1 run with three consecutive blocks by Courtney Manning. UTEP fought back from the deficit with a paired block by Horton and Burruel to take a two-point lead, 23-20. Ultimately the Miner took the match with a putdown by Horton, 25-23.
SMU took an early 7-3 lead with two straight kills and a block assists by Caroline Young and Maddie Lozano. The Miners sparked a 3-1 run with kills by Bridget Logan, Horton and a block assists by Burruel and Cason. The two teams went back and forward until SMU struck with four consecutive kills to take a 13-8 lead. At 16-10, UTEP was forced to call a timeout to regroup. Senior Burruel fired away with a block and a kill to close the gab by four. UTEP battled back with a 5-1 run towards the middle of the match to cut the Mustangs advantage by two points at 23-20. It wasn’t enough to stop the Mustangs as they came back and scored the last two points to close the set, 25-20.
UTEP started the fourth frame much like the second taking a 9-6 lead with a pair of kills by Cason. SMU would score a point until back-to-back kills by Herrera, a ace by Victoria Valencia and a Mustang attack error gave UTEP a 13-7 advantage. SMU would cut the Miners lead as they forced UTEP to commit two attack errors. However, a 6-1 run sparked by two Horton service aces gave the Miners momentum as they held a 22-13 edge. UTEP was unstoppable as a kill by Herrera gave the Miners the victory at 25-16.
UTEP will be closing the season at home on Sunday versus Tulsa at 12 p.m. (MT).