Conference's Top Team Tulsa Sweeps UTEP Volleyball
Conference USA champion Tulsa blew past the UTEP volleyball team, 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-18) on Sunday in Reynolds Center.
The Miners fall to 19-13, 9-10 in C-USA, while Tulsa won its 14th consecutive match to improve to 27-5 and 18-1 in league action.
UTEP’s Stephanie Figueroa tallied 11 digs to compile 555 for her career. The feat ranks as the second-highest single-season total in program history.
Xitlali Herrera continues to lead UTEP’s offense, recording five kills, three block assists and hit .250 for the match. Jeane Horton posted a team-best 10 kills and added two blocks (1s/1a). Malia Patterson registered a double-double with 24 assists and 13 digs.
Tulsa jumped out to a 6-2 advantage, but a kill by Herrera and an error by the Golden Hurricane allowed UTEP to come back to make it 6-4. UTEP fought back and went on a 6-1 run to tie the frame 11-11. Tulsa would not back down and went on a 7-0 run to make it 18-11. The Golden Hurricane held on to the advantage and back-to-back Miner errors close the set out 25-15.
The Miners came out strong in the second set, opening up a 3-1 advantage behind a kill by Herrera and a service ace by Marie-Therese Joyce. Both teams went back and forth, but a attack error by Miriele Gobbo tied the set 9-9. Tulsa responded with a 7-2 run to make it 16-12 forcing UTEP to call a timeout. The Miners went on a 4-2 run with a trio of kills by Horton. But the Golden Hurricane took control and sealed the frame with back-to-back kills by Tyler Henderson.
The Golden Hurricane came out swinging in the third stanza, blasting a .256 hitting efficiency with 17 kills. Tulsa pushed the lead to 16-5 behind another UTEP error and a kill by Diana Silva. The Miners fought back and went on a 5-1 run to make it 21-16, forcing Tulsa to call a timeout. The Golden Hurricane battled back and a pair of kills and a UTEP service error closed the set out 25-18 and the match, 3-0.
The Miners return to Memorial Gym on Tuesday, Nov. 22 for it’s final home match of the 2011 campaign when they take on UCF at 7 p.m. Seniors Stephanie Figueroa and Marie-Therese Joyce are to be honored.