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UTEP volleyball sends LA Tech to the ‘doghouse’ in two home wins

Sophomore+setter+Mattie+Gant+goes+up+for+the+ball.
Gianluca Cuevas
Sophomore setter Mattie Gant goes up for the ball.

UTEP volleyball went up against the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs (LA Tech) (6-16, C-USA 1-9) in victorious fashion, as the Miners won both games at the Memorial Gym. 

In both games, the Bulldogs had strong starts in the first sets. However, it seemed to be “all bark, no bite” for the team. In both games, many fans of all ages were cheering for the Miners, showing how high the spirit and attendance was for UTEP volleyball.  

UTEP is now overall 17-6 and 9-3 Conference USA (C-USA) play in their games. With LA Tech dropping 6-16 and 1-9 CUSA. 

UTEP volleyball fan Paul Casares speaks about the team’s improvement and his thoughts on the season thus far.  

“I think it’s been going great,” Casares said. “It was a little disappointing last year, but I think they have the potential to do a lot better in the postseason. The coach is fantastic; he engages with the fan base and brings some youth to the athletic program. You see that the girls are ready to play every time they hit the court (and) probably one of the better teams I’ve seen in recent years.”  

UTEP Volleyball fan Randy W. Fertel expresses his excitement for the Miners and their hopeful future.

“I think they are playing very well, and they have a chance at the postseason for sure,” Fertel said. “I think they are very exciting to watch and have many highlights. It’s hard to get to all of them.”  

Game one:  

In game one, Miner’s middle blocker Danika Washington and libero Alyssa Sianez made match highs with five blocks and eight digs, respectively, for defense. Washington, outside hitter Torrance Lovesee and outside hitter/middle blocker Alianza Darley paced the team with eight kills each hitting above (.400). As a team, the Miners held the statistical average in kills 45-23, aces 8-3, and blocks 10-4.  

In set one, the Bulldogs took the opening point, but the Miners came swinging soon after with two kills by Darley to create two timeouts from the Bulldogs. Right side hitter Marian Ovalle made a few kills, jumpstarting a seven-to-one run to win the set 25-1.  

In set two, there were errors made by the Bulldogs, which the Miners got a hold of, putting them in a 7-0 lead. After two kills by Darley and a second ace by Sianez, the Miners got to 10-3. Soon after an intense number of minutes and a score of 19-8, both teams went one to one, with an ending score of 25-13.  

With two kills by Washington, an ace by Sianez and two blocks by Middle Blocker Kaya Weaver, the Miners were on the board at 6-2. After the Bulldogs had a small 3:0 spurt to cut the deficit to one point later in the match at 11-10, Washington made two kills and a block to a media timeout. After chasing the Miners’ tail, the Bulldogs were defeated by a kill and an ace by Miners middle blocker Sakira LaCour and Lovesee to secure the win of game one. 

Game two: 

Game two marked 20 consecutive sets won in Memorial Gym, helping UTEP volleyball’s overall score. Setters Mattie Gantt and Kalia Kohler helped with a combined 88 percent of the team’s assists to help the offense get a .296 hitting clip. 

Set one saw both teams going back and forth with a highlight from LaCour, who made a block and a kill to put the Miners in the lead. With a service error from the Bulldogs and a kill from Darley, UTEP won set one 26-24. Sets two and three were intense but won quickly. Set two saw a lead from the Bulldogs, but with a few kills, blocks and a pick-up of pace from Washington, UTEP won 25-17. Set three saw another LaCour highlight with three straight kills and with five errors from the Bulldogs, UTEP soon won the match 25-16 with a No.10 slammed kill from Darley.  

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.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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