UTEP Volleyball defeats NMSU in the Battle of I-10

Photo+by+Ruben+Ramirez

Photo by Ruben Ramirez

Katrina Villarreal , Contributor

UTEP Volleyball defeated rival New Mexico State University Aggies (NMSU) at the Memorial Gym Sunday, Sept. 5, in a five-set match to continue their undefeated streak; the Miners are now 6-0.  

This is the first time the Miners have defeated NMSU in Volleyball since 2012; NMSU have been 21-2 against the Miners since 2004. The Miners lost the first set against the Aggies 25-20, later came back to win the second set 32-30. The Miners then lost the third set but were able to send to a five-set game as they won the fourth set 25-22; they were down in the final set but were able to come back from behind for the win. 

“That was the most stressful match of my life as a head coach,” UTEP Head Coach Ben Wallis said in a press release. “At the end of the day, our cultured helped us win that because our leaders did their job and they got everybody else to believe. That’s from three years of developing them. They decided that they wanted to be different, and they put in the work.” 

With the win against NMSU, the Miners are now 6-0; this is their best start to the season since 2011 when the Volleyball team started their season 8-0. This past weekend the Miners defeated Power Five Teams Arizona and Northwestern Friday, Sept. 3. 

“We’ve got a good volleyball team at UTEP, one that I’m proud of to be 6-0 with this schedule,” Wallis said in a press release. “They are going to battle and grind. They’re not afraid. They just decided that they wanted to win, and they executed it.” 

Some game leaders from the Battle of I-10 match include Yasso Amin, Serena Patterson, Paulina Perez Rosas and Ema Uskokovic. Amin finished with nine kills and one block; Patterson finished with 11 kills, 13 digs and one ace; Rosas finished with 12 kills, 16 digs and one ace; Uskokovic finished with a career high of 16 kills, five blocks and earned Conference USA Volleyball Freshman of the week. Patterson, Rosas and Uskokovic all finished with double doubles in the win against the Aggies. 

UTEP Volleyball is set to travel to Portland, Oregon to face off against Grand Canyon University, University of Portland and Portland State University in the Portland State Tournament Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10-11. 

Katrina Villarreal may be reached at [email protected]