Miners Split at UTEP Invitational

Talia Jones

Sep 6, 2013

EL PASO – The UTEP Miners split at the UTEP Invitational against Southern (3-0) and Oral Roberts (3-1) on Friday at Memorial Gym.

UTEP 3, Southern 0 Get Acrobat Reader

 UTEP opened the tournament with a victory over the Jaguars (25-17, 25-22, 25-16).

UTEP finished with a team total 4o kills and 38 digs and assists. Xitlali Herrera hammered out 13 kills and secured six digs against Southern, while Taylor Nix posted six kills with zero errors. Setter Malia Patterson tallied a game high 25 assists leading the team to its first win of the season.

The Miners took an early lead with a 3-1 run with two kills posted by duo Talia Jones and Nix. The Jaguars stayed close behind with a pair of kills by Deysia Burden and Phalen Clark off a UTEP serve. But UTEP maintained the lead with three consecutive kills, by junior Nix and Lindsey Larson.

While UTEP played consistently well as a team, it was the seniors who dominated the court. Herrera posted five kills with only one error giving the Miners a .421 hitting percentage in the first stanza. Patterson delivered 15 assists, while Victoria Valencia secured five digs.

The Miners kept up their momentum in the second set as they went on a 5-1 run Herrera’s attack. However, the Jaguars cut UTEP’s edge tying the game, 6-6 with three kills and a service ace by Burden.

The Orange and Blue answered with three offensive attacks by Herrera. Defensive specialist Naomi Whitehair delivered a service ace bringing the score, 12-8.

Still in the game, Southern went on a 4-0 run chipping at UTEP’s advantage setting the score, 18-16. The Miners stayed persistent and dominated the set winning, 25-22.

The Orange and Blue started the third stanza strong going on a 7-1 run giving UTEP a 13-5 lead. Southern did not relent with a 5-1 run as the Jaguars capitalized off of four Miner errors.

A trio of kills from the Miners refocused UTEP as they held off Southern’s offensive attack. The squad sealed the match with a service ace by Larson ending the set 25-16.

UTEP 1, Oral Roberts 3 Get Acrobat Reader

The Miners ended the nights with a loss to Oral Roberts,1-3 (25-16, 26-24, 26-24, 26-24) at the UTEP Invitational on Friday.

Xitlali Herrera once again led the teams attack posting 24 kills and recording a .385 hitting percentage against the Gold Eagles. Setter Malia Patterson set the Miners’ offensive attack with 55 assists.

The Miners opened with a 4-2 run led by back-to-back attacks by Herrera. The Golden Eagles kept on UTEP’s heels as a kill by Laura Rosa allowed ORU to capitalize off of two Miner errors bringing the score, 5-6. But the Orange and Blue wouldn’t go down with out a fight, as Herrera and Madison Morris each put up two kills bringing the score, 9-11.

The two teams continued to battle point for point, but the Miners limited ORU’s offensive attack as a UTEP 9-2 run captured the first set for the Orange and Blue, 25-16.

The second set was much like the first as neither team captured an opening lead. The contest saw one lead change and nine ties.

With the score tying at 10-10, the Golden Eagles broke into a two-point edge with a 3-1 run as Laura Taylor delivered a kill for ORU off of back-to-back errors.

Once again the score tied at 24-24, but two consecutive kills by Mckenna Qualls closed the stanza for the Golden Eagles, 26-24.

Tensions high, the scored continued to bounce back and forth between the teams in the third set, but just as in the second set the score tied once again at 24-24, but two consecutive UTEP errors secured the contest for ORU, 26-24.

Looking to tie the series in the four set, the Miners played full force against the Golden Eagles as the teams tied 13 times with five lead changes.

As fate would have it, the score came down to 24-24, but a UTEP attack error allowed ORU to capture the match off a kill by Laura Rosa.

The Miners will be in action Saturday to conclude the UTEP invitational as the Orange and Blue squares off against Texas Southern at 2 p.m. (MT) in Memorial Gym.




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