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UTEP Volleyball defeats Jax State in exciting two home games

Joel Molina
Middle blocker Danika Washington jumps up in the air to hit the ball during a set against Jacksonville State.

With an overall record of 10-5, the UTEP women’s volleyball team faced Jacksonville State University (JSU) in two intense home games. The love for the team radiated throughout Memorial Gym as both games garnered large cheering crowds. UTEP sailed through all three sets in both games.   

Thursday, Sept. 28 

In game one, UTEP obtained a high all-around performance with statistical averages in kills (41-31), hitting percentage (.400-.173), team blocks (11-3) and aces (9-2).    

In the first set, UTEP won the first point, tying Jax State (3-3) until UTEP made a 6-1 run, getting the 9-4 lead. After the two kills and a solo block from Middle Blocker Kaya Weaver, Jax State fought back with two back-to-back kills. With two errors from Jax State, the Miners zoomed ahead, with Middle Blocker Sakira LaCour setting the score to 20-12. The Miners caught three errors soon after but were able to wrap up set one with a 25-18 lead.   

Both teams came out swinging in the second set, with Jax State gaining a two-point lead of 8-6 until a three-point streak from LaCour. After a tied-up match, UTEP bolstered to get the 15-9 lead. After much hustle throughout, the Miners pushed to the end, winning the second set 25-16. 

In set three, Miners’ Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker Alianza Darley made three straight points. Miners Outside Hitter Torrance Lovesee made three kills, with Setter Hande Yetis and Libero Alyssa Siañez putting in service aces. After three unanswered points from Jax State, UTEP took the lead with 21-15. Soon, Miners Rightside Hitter Marian Orvalle made the match point kill, with Miners Outside/Rightside Hitter Deanna Almaguer going for a solo block, winning the match.   

Head Coach Ben Wallis spoke about his team’s home game win  

“It was a good team win. I know our group has been through a lot in the last full week, so it was good to get a win under our belt,” Wallis said. “We were super balanced. From a digging and blocking standpoint, we didn’t execute how I think we could, but there was growth tonight. We didn’t blow as many assignments.”  

Saturday, Sept. 30 

Set one had a score of (25-14), Set two with (9-25), Set three (15-25), with UTEP winning all three. UTEP won again in their second game against Jax State, with an impressive win in all three sets. Set one had 13 kills, set two had 15 and set three had 11 kills from UTEP. With its starting lineup, UTEP went swiftly to the win, utilizing teamwork and execution throughout each set. The game and third set ended with an attack kill from Weaver and support from the team to get there.   

UTEP Volleyball fan Matt Weaver, and father of Kaya Weaver, spoke about his excitement about both games   

“They came out in their camo, like they aren’t already stealthy enough as it is, and put their foot to the gas the whole time,” Weaver said. “All the girls got to play, and we have hitters in the back and the front; it’s crazy to see this team’s athleticism. The coaches did an excellent job building a culture here; you start seeing the friendships and camaraderie between each other, pushing each other to get better”.   

H. Catching Marginot is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]  

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About the Contributors
H. Catching Marginot
H. Catching Marginot, Contributor/Writer
Henry Catching Marginot is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English: rhetorical studies. He is a contributor at The Prospector and freelances. He plans to pursue writing in the future.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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