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Miners take the gold against Middle Tennessee

Alberto Silva Fernandez
Defensive specialist Alyssa Sianez defends an attack by Middle Tennessee on Nov.4

UTEP volleyball (14-11, 8-4 Conference USA) swept Middle Tennessee (15-10, 4-7 C-USA) Friday, Nov. 4 at the Memorial Gym. The Miners are currently third in the C-USA standings.

In the first set, the Miners were unstoppable taking a 15-7 lead against Middle Tennessee. Middle Tennessee was able to prevail by closing the deficit to only four, forcing UTEP to take a timeout. After the timeout, the Miners were able to make a comeback with the help of a kill by outside hitter graduate student Serena Patterson, 25-23.

The second set was a back-and-forth battle between UTEP and Middle Tennessee, with a total of seven ties in the set. UTEP made a comeback by going on a 6-1 run which included the help of freshman setter Mattie Gantt with three consecutive service aces. Middle Tennessee went on a 4-1 run, but UTEP took the set 25-16.

Middle Tennessee took an early lead in the third set by going on a 7-1 run, however the Miners were able to close the deficit and tie the game at 14. UTEP was able to take the lead with the help of an ace by defensive specialist/libero Hula Crisostomo and a kill by senior middle blocker Vittoria Price. UTEP completed the win in the third set 25-22.

“We rose to the occasion against a team that was very chippy,” said Head Coach Ben Wallis in a press release. “And (MTSU) like to talk a little mess and like to stare you down a little bit and we saw it on film, and it bothered us a little bit. But I’m glad to see the competitive nature of my team come back out. We had a reason to play, and that reason was to continue to give ourselves an opportunity to be seeded where we want to be seeded to win this conference.”

Some notable performances from the Miners include Crisostomo who recorded seven digs, along with Gantt and junior setter Hande Yetis who had a combined total of 29 assists. Price led the Miners with eight kills while hitting .700.

“So just a really good group win there and I’m proud of our competitive chippy-ness to be able to beat a really good offensive team,” said Wallis in a press release.

Before returning to the Sun City, the Miners faced a weekend of traveling. Sunday, Oct.23 UTEP met Charlotte in a three-set match. The Miners came out on top, 3-0. The team then traveled to take on North Texas Friday, Oct. 28 where North Texas beat the Miners in a five-set thriller, 2-3. UTEP finished its road games against number No. 21 Rice University. The Miners got swept by Rice, 3-0.

UTEP will be back home when it takes on the University of Texas at San Antonio at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at Memorial Gym.

All stats and quotes courtesy of UTEP Athletics,

Katrina Villarreal is staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Katrina Villarreal
Katrina Villarreal, Multimedia Editor
Katrina Villarreal is senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in theatre at UTEP. She is going into her second year at The Prospector and is currently the Multimedia Editor. Once she graduates, she plans on becoming a sideline reporter for the NFL or ESPN.  
Alberto Silva Fernandez
Alberto Silva Fernandez, Contributor/Photographer
Alberto Silva Fernandez is a sophomore, majoring in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photographer for The Prospector and freelances covering the borderland. When he isn’t covering events Albert likes to study politics, play video games, and listen to music.
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Miners take the gold against Middle Tennessee