Miners’ volleyball ends five-game losing streak


Daniela López Martínez

UTEP women’s volleyball vs. UAB at Memorial Gym Friday Oct. 11, 2019.

Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

Struggling after a hot 8-5 start, UTEP (8-10,1-4) won its first conference matchagainst Louisiana Tech (11-8, 1-4), sending the Lady Techsters to their fourth consecutive loss in conference play Sunday. 

Overall, the Miners had one of their most consistent outings of the season, dominating the net throughout the match and never letting the Lady Techsters get into a rhythm. The Miners won in three straight sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-20). 

The Miners dominated most of the first two sets and led the second set from start to finish. In the third set, the Miners faced their greatest challenge as they fell behind 15-9, until they scored eight straight points to take control of the match. From that point on, the Miners scored 16 points on the Lady Techsters to close the match out. 

UTEP dominated in every statistical category except for service aces. The Miners had 21 more kills than the Lady Techsters and five more blocks. Teamwork was a major key setting up teammates as the Miners finished with 48 assists compared to 29 for Louisiana Tech. 

We were much better defensively than we have been,” Coach Ben Waller said after the match. “In all five phases, we played very well today. I am very proud of them, coming off a heartbreaking loss on Friday where we didn’t play well at all.” 

Three Miners had double-digit kills over the match. Junior Cheyenne Jones led the team with 14 kills, sophomore Serena Patterson had 13 kills, and junior Anamarija Mikovic finished with 12. 

Stepping up for the Miners in controlling the net, freshman Kenidy Howard led the team with six blocks. Junior Syenna Masaki had a career-high 30 assists for the Miners. 

Sitting at tenth place in the conference standings, the Miners need to have more results like this if it wants to compete in the conference tournament as one of the top eight teams. 

The Miners are still without the services of their star freshman Irbe Lazda who is still out due to a broken foot. 

UTEP next travels to Miami to take on the Florida International University Panthers at 5 p.m. Oct. 18.