The UTEP volleyball team dropped their first Conference USA match to Tulane, 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-19) on Thursday in New Orleans, La.
Horton played a large part in the Miners’ assault, as she produced 16 kills and three block assists. Taylor Nix hammered 10 kills and added three blocks (2s/1a).
Malia Patterson led the Miners defense dishing out 36 assists and 12 digs recording her fourth double-double of the season.
The Green Wave opened the contest with a 9-4 advantage off a service ace by Milica Jovic obliging UTEP to call a timeout. The Miners would not go down without a fight forcing Tulane to commit three consecutive attack errors putting UTEP within five. A kill by Nix and two Green Wave errors cut Tulane’s lead to 23-19 making them take another timeout, but ultimately the Green Wave took the set, 25-20.
The Miners rushed out to a 5-1 run in the set frame led by a pair of kills by Cassandra Burruel and Horton. Both teams switched points until two uninterrupted UTEP points put the Miners ahead, 18-15. UTEP eventually prevailed with back-to-back kills from Horton. The squad registered 15 kills, 14 digs, 13 assists and four blocks to take the second frame of the matchup.
Both teams battled for control at the beginning of the third frame at the Hertz Center. Tulane went on a 5-1 run with two kills by Grace Weaver and a service ace from Cori Martone. After taking a timeout UTEP rallied back and cut the Green Wave lead to three with two kill by Nix. Both teams went back and forward until a Miner service error gave Tulane the win. The third set saw seven ties and two lead changes and in the long run Tulane defeated the Miners, 25-23.
Tulane took control of the beginning of the fourth frame leading 10-7 making UTEP take an early timeout. Three kills by Horton set the score at, 14-16. The Miners tried to rally back from the deficit but came up shy in the final set, 25-19.
UTEP will return to action at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial versus Baylor in New Orleans, La. at 9 a.m. (MT) on Saturday.