Volleyball wins two out of three in Red Raider Classic


Priscilla Gomez

Setter Kristen Fritsche at UTEP’s Volleyball game.

Isaiah Ramirez, Staff Reporter

The constant improvement of this year’s UTEP volleyball team (7-6) was evident once again in the Red Raider Classic last weekend in Lubbock, Texas. The Miners won two out of its three scheduled matchups to defeat The University of the Incarnate Word and The University of Houston before falling to Texas Tech.  

In just 13 games played this season, the Miners have already won two more games than they did  last season, when it was 5-21 overall.  

For the first time since 2011 the Miners have a winning record in nonconference play and have plenty of valuable experience and momentum heading into conference play this week against a team that defeated them    twice last season in Rice (11-1). 

In the first matchup of the Red Raider Classic, the Miners defeated Incarnate Word in five sets, with junior middle blocker Mallory Yost recording a career high 18 kills and sophomore setter Kristen Fritsche leading the team in assists with 32.  

The Miners found  themselves down two sets to one, heading into the fourth set, but would come back and win the next two sets, winning the decisive fifth set 16-14.  

Redshirt freshman middle blocker Kenidy Howard had her first career start and recorded 10 kills and paced the team in blocks with nine. 

 Junior Cheyenne Jones leads the Miners in kills with 130 and at the Red Raider Classic, Jones had 30 total kills. Against Houston, Jones had 17 kills, five blocks and a .429 hitting percentage.  

The Miners found themselves down two sets against Houston, but would rally and win the next three sets, winning the fifth set 25-15.  

“This is the first time we have beaten Houston since 2011 and in a lot of ways it shows the growth of our team,” Head Coach Ben Wallis said in a press release. “We showed some grit, resiliency and we played angrier, which is what we have been asking them to do lately.”  

In the last matchup of the Red Raider Classic, UTEP battled  the host of the Classic in Texas Tech falling in three straight sets, losing the first set 25-19, 25-23 and 25-17.  

UTEP will begin conference play as they take on Rice on the road at 5 p.m. Sept. 27 in Houston, Texas.