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UTEP beach volleyball wraps up regular season

Marian Ovalle and Katie Martin high five each other during the Canyon Classic held from April 6-7. This marked the final matches of the season for the Miners. Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Miner’s beach volleyball split the opening day of the Canyon Classic, securing a 3-2 victory against Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ) Spirit’s but succumbing to nationally ranked Grand Canyon University (GCU) Antelopes with a 5-0 loss Saturday afternoon at the GCU Beach Volleyball Stadium.  

UTEP beach volleyball concluded the regular season on Sunday afternoon at the Canyon Classic with a split result. Starting off strong, the Miners defeated the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and secured a 3-2 victory. However, they succumbed to a 5-0 defeat against Grand Canyon.  

UTEP has tallied 12 wins against countable opponents, an achievement that triples last season’s win total. 

Day 1

In match one the heated competition extended to three sets each while five sets pushed into extra points. Despite the difficult start with the Spirits claiming a three-set victory on court 4, the Miners swiftly responded. Junior Madison Hill and grad student Summer McDonough’s triumphed on court 2, bringing the team back into contention.

The Spirit’s secured a 2-1 lead on court 5 with a straight-set victory. Seniors Katie Martin and Marian Ovalle delivered a commending performance, sweeping their opponents on court 3. Sophomores Krista Paegle and Paulina Acuna secured a thrilling third-set victory, securing UTEP the match.

In match 2 as UTEP battled against nationally ranked No. 19 GCU, the competition reached a fever pitch, pushing the matchups into three exciting sets each. The Antelopess swept court 4 and engaged in a tense duel on court 2. GCU further solidified their lead with a sweeping victory on court 5 and court 3, securing the match.  

Day 2  

During match 1 freshman Mila Popovic and junior Ema Uskokovic started off the game, putting UTEP on the board with a three-set win on court 4. UCA responded with determination, securing a three-set victory of their own on court 2, and then followed it with a sweep on court 5.

UTEP’s top pair, Paegle and Acuna displayed their dominance by swiftly sweeping the Beach Bears, limiting them to a mere 19 total points and leveling the match at 2-2. Tension mounted as the contest’s fate rested on court 3, where Martin and Ovalle were trailing in set two. Ultimately UTEP sealed the victory, despite the pressure of extra points.  

In match 2, UTEP faced a tough challenge against No. 19 GCU, who swept all courts except for court 2, where Hill and McDonough battled fiercely. Despite all their efforts, the Antelopes secured points on court 4, then the match on court 5, and added the final two points from courts 3 and 1.  

The Miners will be playing the C-USA Championship games April 25-27 in Youngsville, LA. 

Esteban Corona is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Esteban Corona
Esteban Corona, Staff Reporter
Esteban Corona, a sophomore pursuing a major/minor in multimedia journalism and painting. Corona is a staff reporter at The Prospector. After graduation, Esteban plans to continue his endeavors in Journalism while pursuing an artistic career.
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