Honolulu, HI — The UTEP volleyball team dropped its second match at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, falling 3-0 (13-25, 19-25, 21-25) against defending national champion, Texas on Saturday.
All-American Honorable Mention Xitlali Herrera once again led the squad hammering 10 kills with only one error earning a hitting percentage of .375. Sophomore, Talia Jones followed with 10 kills, while outside hitter, Taylor Nix would round out the Miners with seven more kills.
UTEP concluded the match with a total of 31 kills, 30 assists and 30 digs but it wasn’t enough to stopthe Longhorns’ defense as they picked up nine total blocks (2s/14a), 41 kills and registered a .357 hitting efficiency.
The Longhorns took the lead early on in the first set as three UTEP attack errors and a kill by outside hitter, Bailey Webster gave Texas a 4-1 edge. With the set at 8-5 the Miners were not ready to surrender so easily, as a Longhorn attack error joined by a kill by Nix brought the team closer at 8-6. Both squads went back and forward until Texas went on a 7-2 run giving the Longhorns an 18-12 advantage. The Miner defense could not hold back Texas offensive, as the Longhorns won the first set 25-13off a UTEP service error.
Refocused the Miners matched the tempo of the Longhorns, keeping Texas from obtaining a substantial lead. Two kills from Herrera and two more from Nix and Jones were capitalized by a service error by outside hitter, Victoria Pilar tying the score, 5-5. Both teams continued to play point for point as no team secured a lead, as the score tied four more times (6-6,17-17,18-18, 19-19). But it would be Texas who would deliver a 6-1 run, winning the second set 25-19.
The Miners came out strong in the third set putting together a 3-1 string with a kill and a service ace by Malia Patterson. However, the Orange and Blue was not able to hold the Texas offense, as two kills by Pilar, and another put up by Webster, gave Texas a 6-4 edge.
Not discouraged the Miners kept on the heels of the Longhorns going on a 4-2 run with the support of two attacks by Nix and Jones, but Texas would maintain the lead, winning the final set with a kill by Webster, 25-21.
The Miners will finish out the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Sunday against host Hawai’i at 12 a.m. (MT).