No. 19 Western Kentucky ousts UTEP volleyball from C-USA Tournament semifinals

UTEP

HATTIESBURG, Ms. – (2W) UTEP volleyball (10-7, 8-4 C-USA) saw its five-match winning streak and record-breaking 2020-21 season come to an end Friday afternoon following its loss to (1E) No. 19 Western Kentucky (20-0, 12-0 C-USA), 3-0 (13-25, 9-25, 11-25), in the Conference USA Tournament Semifinals in Hattiesburg, Ms.
 
“Our city is proud of our program,” head coach Ben Wallis said. “The one thing that you can say about a city like El Paso is that once (it sees) somebody is showing progress, and that they want to win and our competitive, people are going to come out and support you.”
 
The Hilltoppers posted the league’s top single-match hitting percentage (.488) this season while holding the Miners to .075 and their lowest point (33) and kill (15) output in a match this season. UTEP generated 26 of its 33 points while the other seven came on errors by Western Kentucky.
 
“A top-20 team that has weapons exposed us today with our inexperience,” Wallis said.
 
Junior outside hitters Paulina Pérez Rosas and Serena Patterson led the Miners in kills with six and five, respectively, and were two of three UTEP players to hit .230 or better.
 
“I thought (Patterson )had a good day,” Wallis said. “I thought she was in control of what she was doing.”
 
Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Kenidy Howard led the team with a .333 hitting percentage (minimum six attempts).
 
Four Hilltoppers hit for .500 or better and their All-Conference First Team selection middle blocker Lauren Matthews hit for .471 and 10 kills. Outside hitters Paige Briggs and Kayland Jackson recorded 11 and nine kills, respectively.
 
Western Kentucky also out-dug the miners 38-to-15.
 
At the service line, the Miners had only 18 attempts – seven of which were service errors – compared to the Hilltoppers’ 39.
 
“The two skills that helped us win a lot all year were the serve and the reception game and they both weren’t there today,” Wallis said. “We had too much inexperience out on the floor to beat a high-level team.”

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