UTEP Volleyball meets Louisiana Tech this weekend


Freshman setter Ryley Frye serves the ball at Memorial Gym during a match. Photo credit: Ace Acosta

Katrina Villarreal, Contributor

UTEP volleyball will meet Conference USA (C-USA) rival Louisiana Tech (LA Tech) Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 at the Memorial Gymnasium. The Miners have had the best start in program history with a record of 11-4 as they look to continue their winning streak in these next two games. 

Louisiana Tech is currently 6-12 and 0-4 in conference play. In a game against the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on Sept. 25, LA Tech lost in a four-set match 3-1. Despite the loss, LA Tech had some key players as well as key plays. During the game LA Tech had out-blocked UTSA 12-7, with sophomore middle blocker Morgan Smith recording four total blocks. Freshman libero/defensive specialist McKenzie Johnson recorded her seventh game with 20+ digs, as well as served three more ace serves. Sophomore outside hitter Mackenzie Murray led the LA Tech offense with seven kills. 

In a win against non-conference opponent New Orleans on Sept. 18, LA Tech was able to send the game to a five-set match. This match also had some hard hitters with senior outside hitter/opposite Jordyn Carswell recording her fourth double-double of the season, along with 10 kills and a season-high of 15 digs and sophomore outside hitter Faith Menary leading the offense with 19 kills. LA Tech also out-blocked New Orleans 12-6.  

UTEP Volleyball is currently 11-4, recording their best start in program history; the Miners are currently 0-2 in conference play after losing both games against C-USA rival Rice University. The Miners have had a lot of accomplishments this season including its first win over a Big 10 affiliate (Northwestern) in school history, first win versus a Power 5 school since 1995, first sweep over a Power 5 school since 1985, and the first time with two Power 5 wins on the same day (Northwestern and Arizona). 

In a win against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) on Sept. 23, the Miners were able to send the game to a four-set match. UTEP achieved a season-high of 13 blocks along with the second-most assists (61). Junior middle blocker Yasso Amin, redshirt junior middle blocker Kenidy Howard, and senior outside hitter Paulina Perez Rosas, each recorded double-digit kills; both Amin and Howard achieved a career-high in kills during the game. Contributing to the win sophomore defensive specialist Alyssa Sianez had 12 digs, and sophomore setter Hande Yetis led the team with three aces and 28 assists. 

“We did a lot of things wrong, but we also did a lot of things right,” Wallis said. “I’m glad we got this nonconference match in before Rice because it tested us and it was an intense environment.” 

This is the ninth time that UTEP meets Louisiana Tech; the Miners currently lead the series 7-2. The last time these two teams met was Mar. 22, 2021, in Ruston, LA, where UTEP came out on top winning all three matches (3-0). The Miners currently have a win streak of four matches against Louisiana Tech and look to continue the streak.  

UTEP hosts Louisiana Tech  6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8 . and 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Memorial Gym.  

All stats for Louisiana Tech found on Louisiana Tech Athletics official website, latechsports.com 

All stats and quotes for UTEP found on UTEP Athletics official website, utepminers.com.   

Katrina Villarreal may be reached at [email protected]