UTEP expands its win streak to six games

Joel Molina, Contributor

The UTEP volleyball team picked up a conference win over the University of North Texas (8-11, 2-2 Conference USA) on Sunday, Oct 2. The win brings the Miners’ win streak to six games with their overall record now being 10-7 and conference record sitting at 4-0. This places them second in Conference USA. 

Outside hitters Serena Patterson and Torrance Lovesee registered 14 kills each. While middle blocker Kaya Weaver led the way in the block category with a career-high of 10. Outside/right side hitter Sara Pustahija and outside hitter Ema Uskokovic also set career-highs in blocks with six each. Setters Hande Yetis and Mattie Gant additionally contributed a total of 43 assists amongst them both. 

“We expected it to be a war and we were able to get the victory over a really good team,” said head coach Ben Wallis in a press release.  

A war it was as North Texas pushed the Miners to a five-set match, which had UTEP taking the first two matches, 25-23 and 25-14, and North Texas taking the next two matches, 25-21 and 25-17, to even out the score. 

In the fifth and final set, the Miners and North Texas went toe to toe. North Texas took a 10-8 lead, but the Miners answered with the help of a kill by Pustahija, a service ace by Yetis, and a block by a combination of Miners. They were able to come back and take an 11-10 lead. North Texas would come back to tie the game, but the Miners pulled away and took the set 15-12, after a service error, two kills by Lovesee, and a service ace by defensive specialist, Hula Crisostomo.

“We didn’t give them anything,” Wallis said in a press release. “They earned those third, third and fourth set wins. But to be able to get right back at it emotionally with a bunch of young people out there, I thought Ali (Darley), Hula (Crisostomo) and Serena (Patterson) were very intentional about keeping everyone moving forward and making sure that we were not thinking about the third and the fourth set, but more about what we were going to do in the fifth set to earn our victory.” 

The Miners’ next match will be at 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at Memorial Gym. There they will face a number 22 ranked team in Rice. 

Joel Molina is a contributor and can be reached at [email protected]