The UTEP volleyball team fell in four sets (20-25, 29-27, 27-25) at UAB on Saturday in Bartow Arena.
UTEP’s Xitlali Herrera pounded 11 kills and 12 digs recording her 10th double-double of the season. Senior Marie-Therese Joyce also had a stellar performance hammering a match-high 13 kills and added three block assists and five digs.
The Miners (17-10, 7-7) struggled to find their offense, hitting .161 for the match. UAB (19-7, 9-5) hit .203 on the day, including a .224 clip in the third set.
UAB was blazing at the net, posting 13 blocks to UTEP’s seven. The Blazers’ Sam Serley, contributed eight blocks (1s/7a) and added 12 kills.
The two teams swapped points to start the set until a kill by Jeane Horton tied the frame at 7-7. UAB found its rhythm going on a 7-0 run with two kills and a pair of blocks by Serley. The Blazers took advantage of a Miner attack error and UAB’s Kristen Gallagher laced a service ace to give the Blazers a 10-7 advantage. Four consecutive strikes by the Blazers gave UAB a 22-11 lead. But the Miners did not relent with back-to-back kills by Herrera and a pair of UAB attack errors cutting the deficit to 15-22, forcing a Blazers timeout. UTEP continued to battle going on a 4-0 run with back-to-back kills from Joyce. But the Miners fell short as a kill by Michele Simmons sealed the set, 25-20.
UTEP surged to a 3-0 lead in the second frame off an ace by Victoria Valencia. The Miners went on a 4-2 run with a kill by Herrera. UAB began to chip away at the lead, forcing an attack error to tie the set at 23-23, forcing a UTEP timeout. Both teams battled for control, but the Blazers took the frame with a kill by Rachel Fairbanks and an attack error by Logan.
The two teams went back and forward to open the frame until UTEP pushed to a 13-10 advantage. With the Miners ahead 15-13 a kill by UAB’s Thais Soares knotted the set at 17-17. The Miners took advantage of an attack error by Kiriana Hirini and UTEP’s Esther Warren pounded the ball to push the Miners to a 20-19 advantage. The two teams swapped points until an attack error by Warren and a kill by Soares gave UAB a 25-24 lead, forcing a UTEP timeout. The Blazers hung on to win the set 27-25. The set saw 17 tie changes and six lead changes.
The Miners will once again face UAB tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Bartow Arena.