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UNT slips by the Miners

Senior+outside+hitter+Jacqueline+Cason+attempts+an+attack+against+North+Texas.
Michaela Roman
Senior outside hitter Jacqueline Cason attempts an attack against North Texas.

Playing their second match in a three game home stand, the UTEP volleyball team lost to the North Texas Mean Green in a thrilling five set match 3-2 (22-25), (25-16), (20-25), (26-24), (14-16) at Memorial Gym.

The match started with a bang for the Miners as they jumped out to an early 7-3 lead, North Texas played an uncharacteristically sloppy first 10-points to spot the Miners a four point lead. After tying the game at 10-10, North Texas went on an 11-5 run and eventually took a closely contested first set 25-22.

Contrary to many of the past matches this season the Miners came out and played an even better second set, dominating North Texas 25-16. The Miners got out to another quick start, but never relinquished the lead. The Miners defense was the driving force of the dominant second set, and the whole match.

“Our defense did really well all around,” said junior defensive specialist Ashley Peak. “If one person was off we had somebody right they’re covering, we all around played as a great unit on defense.”

Peak finished the match with a team high 33 digs, which ranks fourth all time in UTEP volleyball history for most digs in a five set match.

Coming out of the 10-minute intermission the Miners seemed to have lost their spark, at one point the Miners were down 14-7 in the third set and North Texas seemed in route to a comfortable third set win. The Miners closed the gap, and lost the third set by a respectable margin.

The fourth set proved the Miners fight and determination. After squandering an early seven point lead, and nearly giving the match away the Miners regained their composure to win an extended fourth set. North Texas went on a 7-0 run and at one point won 10 of 14 points, but the Miners never faltered under their winning attitude.

Freshman middle blocker Krystal Ejesieme serves the ball in the second set.
Freshman middle blocker Krystal Ejesieme serves the ball in the second set.

“We want to win so bad,” Peak said. “We have so much heart for the game and every time we go out there we want to give it our all. Even if we lose we have to bring it back together and go hard every time.”

The fifth set was not only the most nerve racking set of the match but also the most entertaining. After the first 10 points the match was dead even at 5-5, North Texas would then go on a 6-0 run to take a commanding 11-5 lead and what seemed to be the match. But if the Miners proved anything tonight, it was that there is no quit in them. The Miners would storm back into the set and saved four match points to tie the game at 14-14. North Texas would eventually close the match out, but despite the loss being tough, head coach Holly Watts sees it as a positive step going forward.

“It helps going forward,” Watts said. “It helps with our confidence knowing that North Texas had some great hitters that we were trying to defend. Last year they blew us out and we played them much better this time.”

The Miners now fall to 2-11 on the season and 0-2 in conference play.The Miners will be back in action on Sunday against Florida Atlantic at 12 p.m. at Memorial Gym.

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter
Javier Cortez is a staff reporter for The Prospector. He is a senior multimedia journalism major, with a minor in English Rhetoric. Javier was born and raised in El Paso, TX and before coming to UTEP in the summer of 2012, he graduated from Irvin High School, where he was a four-year varsity tennis player, a member of student council and a class officer for his graduating class. He has also worked for the El Paso Diablos as a sports information intern on their media relations team. In his spare time, Javier loves to write columns for the perspectives section in the school newspaper—whether it is sports, pop culture, religion, and society he loves to write about it. To go along with writing, Javier loves reading anything about sports, religion, and non-fiction.
Michaela Roman, Editor-in-Chief
Michaela is a Senior Digital Media Production major at The University of Texas at El Paso. As the Editor-in-Chief, and former Photo Editor of The Prospector, she has learned to stay organized, manage a staff of writers and photographers, meet deadlines, cover events and network with others. She also has freelance experience and a personal photography business. Michaela aspires to work as an editor for a large media outlet and one day go to graduate school to teach photojournalism.
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UNT slips by the Miners