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Volleyball drops consecutive games at home

Michaela Roman / The prospector

The Miners came in this week full of confidence after having swept Rice and Grand Canyon on Oct. 20 and Oct. 23, however, their spirits was dampened after a loss at home.

“We worked hard, but were unable to execute when needed,” said head coach Holly Watts. “We had a nice crowd, we just wish we could’ve sent them home happy.”

The UTEP volleyball team fell to Conference USA’s second-place team the Texas San Antonio Roadrunners, 3-0 in the final game of their four-game home stand, Oct. 27 at Memorial Gym.

Things didn’t go so well for the Miners after winning the first set against the Blazers. Seven errors in the third set and 15 kills for Alabama Birmingham in the fourth helped secure a 3-1 victory for the Blazers on Oct. 25.

The Miners continued to struggle against the Roadrunners who held the Miners to a .225 point percentage and outscored them in more than three categories in their sweep against the Miners (25-20, 25-22, 27-25).

“I thought we did a lot of things well. We hung with them in a lot of ways, but we just weren’t able to finish the sets,” Watts said. “As far as overall kills go and digs, we were really hanging in there with them and I thought we fought really well.”

UTSA, who holds a 15-7 overall record in Conference USA, dominated the Miners early with help from freshman Jessica Waldrip, who posted all 15 of the Roadrunners assists in the first set and combined with senior Mckenzie Adams and freshman Dana Boskovic for 11 kills, that caused UTEP to fall in the first set, 25-20.

The Miners responded in the second set, by taking a five-point lead. However, UTEP’s efforts were not enough as UTSA rallied back with six kills from Adams to take a four-point lead that would result in a 25-22 final in the second set.

The Roadrunners continued to dominate the Miners at the start of the third set, taking an early three-point lead that turned into several missed opportunities from the Miners. Looking to respond, UTEP rallied back to tie the game at 25 in the third set, but this was not enough to hold UTSA and they ultimately fell in the third, 27-25.

“Coming off this game, I think we need to work on our defense a little more,” said senior Xitlali Herrera. “We struggled with our blocks, which was key in this game, a little on our passes and more than that I think it was our intensity too. We need to keep our intensity high every time.”

The Miners are now 12-9 overall and 5-4 in Conference USA. They are looking to improve during a four-game road trip from Nov. 1-12 where they will face Marshall, Charlotte, North Texas and rivals New Mexico State.

Senior Malia Patterson said the Miners will look to respond through better execution.

“Going forward into these four road games, we need to take into consideration our execution,” Patterson said. “We have really good fight, but we need to execute better between points and finish.”

Watts said the Miners will also look to refocus themselves mentally.

“Going forward, we have a lot of hard work cut out for us,” Watts said. “We have lost six sets in a row. That makes it rough–we have to now get back mentally and be confident in ourselves again as volleyball players.”

Ellisia Shafer can be reached at [email protected].


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Volleyball drops consecutive games at home