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The Miners stretch their winning streak to four as they defeat East Carolina, 3-1 (25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 25-20) on Friday.
Jeane Horton led the Miners attack hammering 19 kills and added three solo blocks and two service aces. Senior Cassandra Burruel registered 13 kills and hit a .524 for UTEP. Xitlali Herrera also had a stellar match posting a double-double with 12 kills and a team-high 11 digs. Setter Malia Patterson tallied 52 assists and five digs to help UTEP secure the win.
The Miners came out strong at the beginning of the first set as the team sprinted out to a 13-7 lead with a 5-1 run off of three Pirate errors. ECU would score three points, but UTEP would not allow the Pirates to pick up much momentum as Horton and Logan hammered a pair of kills to give the Miners an 18-13 edge. UTEP was unstoppable as Horton and Herrera registered two kills each to put the Miners on top 23-15. East Carolina called a timeout to regroup and came out the break scoring three points, but back-to-back kills by Cassandra Burruel would give the Miners the frame, 25-19.
The second stanza started just like the first, UTEP surged to an 8-2 lead with two kills by Horton and one by Jacqueline Cason. The Pirates fought back with a 4-2 run with the help of Virginia Fitch, who registered two blocks. ECU seemed to be on a role, but UTEP would not go down so easy posting a 5-1 run with kills by Horton, Burruel and Herrera putting the score at 18-12. UTEP was unstoppable, as they once again rushed out with a 5-1 run with kills by Cason, Burruel and Horton and setter Malia Patterson recorded an ace to put the squad up 21-13. Three consecutive Miner strikes made it match point for the Miners at 24-13. ECU would score one more kill before Burruel sealed the set with a kill, 25-14.
Both teams battled for control of the frame at the beginning of the third set with neither team taking more than a two-point advantage. The Pirates raced out to a 4-1 run in the set to take an 8-5 advantage with a pair of ECU kills. UTEP was struggling and was forced to call a timeout at 11-7 in hopes of regrouping. Three straight Miner points brought UTEP within two at 12-10, but two Miner errors put ECU up at 14-10. UTEP began to pick up the momentum striking with a 4-1 run with the help of two consecutive Miner blocks, 14-15. Both teams went back and forward until UTEP tied it up at 20-20 with two strikes by Herrera. ECU came out and registered a 3-1 run with a pair of ECU kills but the Miners hammered two last kills to tie the frame once again, 23-23. The Pirates ultimately took the set scoring the final two points of the frame, 25-23.
UTEP wasted no time in the fourth set surging to a 7-3 edge with back-to-back kills by Horton and Cason. ECU would get some points on the scoreboard before Horton struck with a block and two kills to extend the Miners lead to 13-9. Cason was on a roll blasting three kills for UTEP to put the Miners up 17-13 in the fourth frame. Taylor Nix helped the Miners register some points with a block and a kill to set the score at 21-14. The Pirates would not go down without a fight as they stringed together five consecutive points to make it 21-18. UTEP would close the match with a kill by Herrera, Burruel and a Pirates attack error, 25-20.
UTEP will take on Marshall at Huntington, W. Va. 11 a.m. (MT) for their final match of the regular season.
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