The UTEP women’s volleyball team earned a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-16) win against Conference USA opponent Houston on Sunday in Houston, Texas.
Jeane Horton led the Mines attack hammering 15 kills and posting a .256 hitting percentage against the Cougars. Junior Malia Patterson recorded a match-high 32 assists and added five kills, four digs and two block assists. Victoria Valencia also registered a match-high 17 digs and tallied five assists to lead UTEP past Houston.
The Miners (11-8, 5-2 C-USA) hit a .287 efficiency and sustained the Cougars to a .084 hitting percentage. UTEP recorded 45 kills, 43 assists, 55 digs, four team blocks and three service aces versus Houston.
The Miners jumped out in the first set posting six straight points led by Horton who recorded a block and kill sending the Cougars to the bench for a timeout. Errors began to plague the Cougars and helped UTEP drive ahead with a 10-3 advantage. Both teams traded points until a 3-1 run by Houston cut the Miners lead by four. Despite two UTEP errors, a Herrera kill kept the Miners’ lead at four at 20-16.UTEP would not relent as they tallied a 3-1 run with kills by juniors Herrera, Patterson and Horton. Patterson would strike again to seal the set for the Miners, 25-19.
The Miners wasted no time in the second set taking a 4-1 advantage with a pair of kills by Herrera and Cassandra Burruel. Houston recorded a kill to get on the board but UTEP strung together another 4-1 run to put the Miners ahead, 7-2. The team was unstoppable as Jacqueline Cason hammered back-to-back kills and a Houston attack error gave UTEP a seven point lead. Houston would not go away as they battled back with a 4-1 forcing the Miners to call a timeout to regroup at 15-12.UTEP strikes again with kills by Horton and Cason and a Cougar attack error putting the set at 18-13. Both teams went back and forward until the Miners closed the frame with a kill by Horton, 25-20.
Once again the Miners took an early 4-2 lead with a pair of kills by Herrera and two Cougar errors. UTEP’s lead grew to five, 9-4, before Houston began closing the gap coming as close as four, 12-8. The Miners answered back with an 11-1 run, forcing Houston to commit six attack errors. Horton led the Miners attack tallying four kills giving UTEP set point, but Houston crept back with a 4-1 run cutting the Miners lead by eight. Ultimately, UTEP claimed the set as Cason slammed one last kill in the middle for the triumph, 25-16.
The Miners will return home to train before hitting the road again to take on top ranked Tulsa at 6 p.m. (MT) on Friday.