Miners Lose I-10 Battle, 3-1

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The UTEP volleyball team dropped its second match of the season to I-10 rival New Mexico State, falling 3-1 (17-30, 30-28, 14-30, 30-20) at Las Cruces High School in Las Cruces, N.M. on Wednesday.

UTEP hit negative figures in all but the second game to finish with .030 (42-37-167).  NMSU took advantage of UTEP's errors, pounding .301 including a match-high .333 in the third frame.  The Aggies out killed the Miners by 20, 62-42 for the match and put up 16.0 blocks to the Miners' three.

Keisha Hyman-Gifth and Christie Murphy recorded double-digit kill performances with 10 and 13, respectively.  Hyman-Gifth hit .360 for the match.  Aidan Mooney recorded two of UTEP's three blocks, both solos.

NMSU's Amber Simpson led all teams with 16 kills, while Alice Borden pounded 15 and Kim Oguh hit 13.  Krystal Torres was the defensive leader with 24 digs.

NMSU looked to dominate from the start, but it was the Miners who took control early jumping ahead, 2-1, off an attack error by Anna Callis. An over pass in the net by UTEP's Casey McAnelly forced the sideout and a tie score at 2-2. A kill by Murphy pulled the Miners ahead 3-2, but it would be UTEP's final lead of the game as two consecutive attack errors by Murphy gave the Aggies the 4-3 lead.  UTEP tied once more, at 4-4, but the Aggies took advantage of a four-point run. Hitting just -.023, the Miners fell to the Aggies in the first game 30-17. 

After falling behind 3-1 in the second frame, the Miners tied the game 4-4 off a kill by Catherine Chavez for the sideout and UTEP serve. Backed by Murphy's three aces, the Miners went on a 10-1 run to take a 12-5 lead. UTEP and NMSU went back and fourth, with UTEP's netters jumping ahead at 20-10. Frustrated, NMSU's head coach, Mike Jordan, called two time outs that proved effective, as the Aggies regrouped and used four and five-point runs to tie the game at 22.  NMSU took the lead at 24-23 and pulled ahead by three at 27-24. But with a couple of substitutions, the Miners would not let the game slip away and with two blocks by Mooney and another ace Murphy, UTEP closed game two, 30-28.

The Aggies held the Miners to just seven kills while pounding 16, and out hit UTEP, .333 to -.029 in game three, taking advantage of Miner errors for the swift 30-14 win.  The Orange and Blue hit a match-low -.048 (9-11-42), dropping the fourth match, 30-20, to hand the Aggies their sixth straight win over the Miners. 

UTEP (5-13, 1-3 C-USA) returns home on Friday to take on Tulsa at Memorial Gym.  Match time is slated for 7:00 p.m.  They then play SMU on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

UTEP vs. NMSU Box Score UTEP vs. NMSU Box Score



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