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UTEP Volleyball Falls to NC State 


ATHENS, Ohio (KVIA) - Despite a late fourth-set comeback, the UTEP volleyball team (6-2) was bested by NC State, 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 16-25, 22-25), to close out the Bobcat Invitational. 

Danika WashingtonKaya Weaver, and Sara Pustahija led the Miners with nine kills each. Weaver was zero-error on 11 attacks to put up a .818 hitting percentage. Kalia Kohler and Hande Yetis combined for 38 assists while Torrance Lovesee recorded a match-high 16 digs. 

UTEP recorded a .226 match attack percentage highlighted by a .440 clip in the opening set.   

Both teams mirrored just about every stat: team hitting percentage (.226), kills (44), and aces (6), but the Miners did have the upper hand in blocks (10-7). 

"We really learned a lot about ourselves this week," head coach Ben Wallis said. "I was really proud of our bench today for their energy, and they really were trying to help. We did a lot of things right in short bursts and really played well in the second set today. 

"We just didn't execute at a high enough level out of system today and that is something that we've been very good at and showed great promise in this season as a transition attacking team," Wallis said. 

SET ONE | To kick things off, UTEP and NC State had a real tennis match-like performance to open the day as the teams would go 1-for-1 leading into the halfway mark with NC State going up 15-14. The Pack seemed to have found some momentum to pull ahead and take the first set, 25-21.  

SET TWO | The Miners were dominant in the second frame, racking up 14 kills and six blocks. Alianza Darley put up four of UTEP's first five points which snowballed into a 4-0 run to lift the Miners 9-3. Danika Washington's two kills and block forced NC State to take a timeout as it trailed by four, 16-12. The Pack were only able to get three more points on the board while UTEP popped off with a 6-1 run that ended with two huge Darley kills to win the set, 25-16. 

SET THREE | NC State whipped out an UNO Reverse card to pull off a 25-16 set win of their own. The Miners were well within reach of the Pack trailing by two, 6-8. NC State burst out with a big run to stretch the advantage 21-12. UTEP's late four-point rally fell short as the Pack closed out the set with three unanswered, 25-16. 

SET FOUR | UTEP's first three points were courtesy of NC State errors. Four big kills by the Miners gave them the 10-8 lead but the Pack was determined to break UTEP's momentum. NC State had a 7-1 run to lead, 15-11, but put up points for UTEP with five errors forcing their own timeout at 19-17. The sidebar proved successful as the Pack tacked on three straight points, but the Miners fought back. As the Pack tracked up to match point, the Miners continued to tack on points, but NC State would eventually make the final play to win the match, 25-22. 

Final Thoughts from Coach Wallis 
"Today I let us down and we made way too many errors this entire weekend as a team. We're like a really shiny brand-new sports car with really cool rims that has a ton of dents in it from hitting things on the highway and backing into stuff too much. We just can't keep functioning the way we are in every match if we're going to be great. We have lots to work on and we just got to be better at executing in the transition, serving, and out of system choices that we make." 

UTEP will compete in the Tulane Invitational, Sep. 14-16, to face off against host Tualne, Houston Christian, and Clemson. 

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Rachel Phillips

UTEP Athletics


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