El Paso, TX — The UTEP volleyball team (10-6, 4-1 C-USA) claimed its third consecutive Conference USA victory over Middle Tennessee (10-7, 2-2 C-USA) on Friday as the Miners outlasted the Blue Raiders in four sets (25-22, 17-25,25-12, 25-22).
UTEP was led by Xitlali Herrera who commanded 19 kills, earning her a .485 attach percentage. The senior also posted seven digs and one solo block.
Malia Patterson secured UTEP's offense with 32 of the team's 42 assists. Junior Taylor Nix aided the Miner offense as she secured 10 kills.
UTEP took an early lead in the first set as consecutive kills delivered by Herrera sparked a 5-0 run for the Miners. Maintaining the lead, the Orange and Blue captured the first set off a kill by Herrera.
Still in the game, the Blue Raiders took the lead of the second stanza with a 5-0 run of their own, forcing UTEP into a timeout. Middle Tennessee held on to its lead as three consecutive Miner errors brought the score 10-3.
Keeping UTEP at a .000 hitting percentage, the Blue Raiders won the second set tying the match, 1-1.
Looking to regain their momentum, the Miners opened the third set with a 6-0 run. The Miners would go on to win the third set as they hit .450 and held Middle Tennessee at -.065.
Both teams fought point for point going into the fourth set. The score would tie six times but a 4-1 run gave the Miners the lead. Herrera secured the final set for the Miners as she hammered out her 19th kill of the night off a set from Patterson.
The Miners will round out this weekend in Hattiesburg, Miss. as they take on Southern Miss on Sunday at 12 p.m. MT.