Miners volleyball splits at invitational
El Paso, TX — The Miners capture a win against Hartford University (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) before falling to the University of Rhode Island (22-25, 20-25, 20-25) at the Art Carmichael Invitational.
UTEP was led by duo Xitlali Herrera and Malia Patterson who both secured double-doubles in the day’s matches.
Herrera hammered out 12 kills and 14 digs against Hartford while Patterson posted 28 assists and 10 digs against Rhode Island.
“We split on the day, but the team’s effort was incredible,” head coach, Holly Watts said. “We were put in situations that we have not experienced and people stepped up to the challenge. Xitlali (Herrera) played well; Malia (Patterson) had a double-double and Victoria (Valencia) capitalized off of many opportunities tonight. There were a few things we could have done better but all the credit to Rhode Island as they made tough plays look easy.”
UTEP 3, Hartford 0
In its first match of the Art Carmichael Invitational, the Orange and Blue wins with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) victory
The Miners took the lead of the first set as kill by setter Malia Patterson set the tempo for outside hitters, Talia Jones and Taylor Nix as they both posted two kills apiece bringing the score to 5-1.
The Hawks narrowed UTEP’s lead as a kill from Jackie Tamburri capitalized off of two Miner errors bringing the score 9-6.
Relentless, the Orange and Blue went on a 3-0 run including two consecutive kills by All-American, Xitlali Herrera and one by sophomore Madison Morris, to increase the Miner edge to 13-8.
A UTEP attack error and a set of kills by Corinne Horanzy and Chandler Goodwin put up points for the Hawks as they came six points behind UTEP (16-10). But it was the Miners who kept control of the game as the Orange and Blue captured the first set as two consecutive 3-0 runs brought the score to 25-20.
In the second set the Miners took off with a 2-0 lead with a kill by Jones and a Hawk attack error. However, the Hawks kept close behind as a UTEP error and a kill by Dionna Kirton brought the score 6-3.
With 3 kills the Hawks tied the game 10-10. Points went back and forth between both squads as the score tied 4 more times, but three consecutive Hartford errors gave the Miners a 17-14 edge.
Points once again bounced back and forth from both sides of the net, as errors from both squads brought the score to 17-19. A set of kills by Herrera and Jones kept the Miners in a 2 point lead as the score crept to 23-21.
Back to back kills by Herrera and Nix won the second set for UTEP, 25-22.
The close competition carried over to the final set as the squads tie 3-3 at the beginning of the set.
Two UTEP errors and a kill by Horanzy gave the Hawks a 7-4 edge over the Miners. Hartford increased its lead to 8-5 with back to back kills by Kirton.
The Miners kept up Hartford’s tempo as a kill by Jones and a Hawk attack error brought the score 8-8.
The scored tied two more times until a kill posted by Herrera gave UTEP a one point lead. An attack by Jones and a Hawk error increased the Miner edge to 14-10.
UTEP held the Hawks, as a set of kills by Lindsey Larson and Nix brought the score 17-12.
A 4-0 run brought the score to 21-14, as the Orange and Blue got within points of winning the match. But the Hawks held the Miner offense as they caught up 23-18 capitalizing off of four UTEP errors.
Coming off of a timeout the Miners refocused as a kill by Herrera and a Hartford error won the set 25-21.
UTEP 0, Rhode Island 3
UTEP 3, Houston Baptist 0
In their second match of the day the Miners fell to the University of Rhode Island 3-0 (22-25, 20-25, 20-25).
Malia Patterson led UTEP on the court as she recorded her first double-double of the season with 28 assists and 10 digs, while Xitlali Herrera led UTEP’s offense with 15 kills against the Rams.
The Miners got off to an early lead in the first set, but two consecutive strikes by Catie Steffen tied the frame, 4-4. Both teams battled for control until URI secured a three point advantage with two kills by Franki Darnold and one by Callan Kinnan forcing UTEP to a timeout.
The Miners kept on the heels of the Rams, eventually tying the score 17-17 with three consecutive UTEP kills by Talia Jones, Herrera, and Malia Patterson. However, URI captured the lead with a 3-0 run to win the first set, 22-25.
UTEP kicked off the second set with a 5-3 edge over the Rams, as a set of kills posted by Herrera and Jones capitalize off Rhode Island errors. The squads once again battled for control tying the score eight times. However, with the score 18-18, a UTEP attack error sparked a 5-0 run for the Rams, as URI wins the second set 25-20.
Both teams went back and forward tying the game 6-6 until the Rams captured a two point edge over the Miners after two UTEP errors.
The Miners kept close behind Rhode Island but struggled to stop the Rams’ attack and were forced to call a timeout to help them regroup. The timeout proved to be effective as UTEP went on a 4-1 run with a kill by Dominique Millette bringing the score, 18-17.
The Rams responded with a 3-0 run to win the final set 25-20.
The Miners will close out the Art Carmichael Invitational with a match up against UMass-Lowell at 10 a.m. (MT) on Saturday.