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Miners fall in three straight sets to ninth ranked BYU

Justin Rodriguez

The UTEP miner’s volleyball team fell at the hands of Bingham Young University cougars in three sets on Friday night.  With a crowd of 793 fans cheering the miners on in Memorial Gym the miners continued their early season woes. 

The miners played a strong first set as they kept things close against a ranked BYU team, as they trailed by less than five points for the majority of the set.  With that set going 25-17 in favor of the cougars, the miners got off to a competitive first set. 

 Unfortunately for the miners the first set would be followed by a 25-6 rout in the second set, where the miners faced 19 unanswered points by BYU. Coach Holly watts said, “We slacked off a little bit in the second set, where we gave them a lot of points that they didn’t earn.”  She went on to add “We came back well in the third set and made them earn their points, BYU is a great team with a great program and its great to have a team like that for us to see and have a team like that to want to emulate.”

The third and final set would prove to be a lot like the first, where the Miners would not go down without a fight in a 25-16 loss. After asking coach watts what she told her team after they went to the break after the second set she said,  

“We talked about trying not to give the other team points; you know to work hard, to swing. I’d rather swing hard and get blocked than take a little shot where we’re trying to put it in a special spot and miss it, lets get blocked and lets give our selves a chance.” 

Senior Dayana Acevedos Rios, spoke about the loss to BYU as a good experience and as a game that has a lot to teach. Acevedos Rios said “I think tonight’s game was hard, but I feel like we have a lot of room to improve, I think we are going to work hard and tomorrow is a new game, we are going to start fresh and work hard.”

 Senior Jacqueline Cason also had an optimistic view on the game, and the tough time the Miners have had in this early in the season, she said, “We’re having a really tough preseason, which I think will lead us into a good conference.” She went on to add, “We’re playing teams that are ranked, every weekend is pretty much a ranked team. It’s a challenge, so when we get into conference we’ll know what it looks like when a hard hitter comes in, or when things don’t go right, we can work from that and get better.”

The players and coaching staff had a tough effort against a ninth ranked BYU but had a positive outlook about the season ahead; and the importance of fans cheering the Miners on,  Acevedos Rios had this to say, “ I just want to encourage the fans to keep supporting us because that gives excitement.”  Cason went out to add, “The bigger the crowd the more energetic we are, in the first game we were just all over the place and the crowd was with us and it makes us feel really good. So I just encourage people just to come out.”

Both seniors said they wanted their last season to be a memorable season, and go out with a bang. Cason said, “It’s going to be tough, a bitter sweet kind of thing, being the last season and were trying to get everything out of it. Just going for it every time and having no regrets afterward.” Cason went on to add “I want to be able to end this season with no regrets and be like, I did my part my senior year and I feel good about it.”

Juan Carlos Navarrete can be reached at [email protected]

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Miners fall in three straight sets to ninth ranked BYU