Miners shutout Middle Tennessee on Senior Day

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Miners shutout Middle Tennessee on Senior Day

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

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The UTEP women’s volleyball swept Middle Tennessee in straight sets on Sunday at Memorial Gym to snap a nine-game losing streak. The Miners did not allow the Blue Raiders to reach 20 points in any set, taking the match 25-19, 25-16 and 25-14 on Senior Day for UTEP upperclassmen Amanda King and Dania Orozco.

The win improved the Miners to 2-9 in Conference USA and 5-19 overall. The Blue Raiders drop to 2-9 in league play and 7-19 overall.

“This was an exciting atmosphere for our Senior Day,” head coach Holly Watts said in a press release. “The crowd was really into the game and having the band come out and support us the way they did gave our team some extra motivation. We’d love to have more of this support to close out the season and to carry over into next year. Having this kind of support is what makes UTEP so special.”

Freshman Mallory Yost and sophomore Macey Austin paced the UTEP offensive with nine kills each. Yost hit at a .500 clip, while Austin, who was held to single-digit kills for the first time since Sept. 19, hit at a .400 percentage. Cheyenne Jones also put in work for the offense, registering seven kills at a .500 clip. Senior Amanda King showed out in one of her second to last game in Memorial Gym, dishing out 32 assists to set up the offense.

Defensively, Ashley Grzebeniak led the team with nine digs, while Briana Arellano added eight of her own. Kylie Baumgartner was a force at the net, notching the team’s lone solo block while also teaming up for four block assists to stop the Blue Raider offense and keep them at a .080 hitting percentage.

In total, the Miners earned 36 kills at a .338 percentage, 35 assists, one service ace, 32 digs, 16 block assists and one solo block while the Blue Raiders recorded 28 kills, 25 assists, five service aces, 29 digs, six block assists and two solo blocks.

“We put things together well, no matter what the other team was doing,” Watts said. “They tried to change things up on us and we were able to handle it well. Our middles produced well this weekend with blocking and offensively. The team played really consistent all three sets, we kept the pressure up on the other team the entire game.”

The Miners will look to keep the momentum going on the road when they face Florida International and Florida Atlantic Nov. 3-5.

“I was excited for senior day and I just wanted to enjoy the moment. The season isn’t over yet and we go back to my hometown for our last conference road trip which will be special for me,” Flordia native Amanda King said in a press release. “Going into the next two games we’re confident knowing that we can win and close out the season on a good note.”

First serve against the Panthers is set for 5 p.m. (MT) while game-time against the Owls is 10 a.m. (MT).