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UTEP Caps Weekend with Five-Set Road Win over Bearkats

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KVIA) -- Behind Marian Ovalle's career-high 21 kills and .421 hitting percentage, UTEP Volleyball wrapped up the weekend with a five-set win over Sam Houston Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.   

The Miners improved to 15-6 overall and 7-3 in Conference USA play while Sam Houston dropped to 7-16 (1-9 CUSA).  

Three Miners shredded double-digit kills with Marian Ovalle (21), Alianza Darley (14), and Torrance Lovesee (10) leading the charge. Hande Yetis (33) and Kalia Kohler (25) combined for 89 percent of the teams' assists. For the defense, Danika Washington stuffed five blocks while Alyssa Sianez racked up 21 digs and Lovesee recorded 10 for a double-double.  

UTEP's all-around performance held the statistical advantage in kills (68-49), hitting percentage (.253 - .188), aces (4-3), but were out blocked (10-11).   

SET ONE | UTEP's first 10 points were pure kills from six Miners. As SHS led 17-12, the Miners dished out a 6:0 run to creep ahead, 18-17. The Bearkats ended the set with six unanswered points to win the set, 25-19.

SET TWO | The Miners blasted 19 kills in the second frame and took a quick 7-2 lead. SHS tied the set at 7, 8, and 9 before UTEP's Kaya Weaver and Danika Washington drilled in kills to pull up 13-10. Alianza Darley and Torrance Lovesee tucked in kills in UTEP's 4:0 run, 17-12. The Miners continued to keep a cushioned seven-point lead heading into set point. The Bearkats shrunk the deficit by three, but Darley crushed one more kill to win the set, 25-21.  

SET THREE | Sam Houston grabbed the first two points of the set. UTEP gained the lead off an ace by Kalia Kohler, 5-4. The Miners slammed down five kills with an SHS error thrown in to pull ahead 12-8. UTEP put up by four points in and out of the media timeout, 17-12. The Miners rounded out the set with an 8:1 run that consisted of four kills and three blocks to take the 2-1 advantage in the match, 25-16. 

SET FOUR | The Bearkats forced their own timeout early in the fourth set after giving up five points to the Miners in UTEP's 9-5 lead. Sam Houston rallied past UTEP and only gave up three kills to the Miners as the Bearkats stretched out 20-16 and finished off the set 25-20 to even the match.  

SET FIVE | UTEP's Sakira LaCour grabbed the opening point in the final set and SHS knocked in three points shortly after. The Miners led 8-4 at the switch and continued to pull up forcing a Sam Houston timeout, 10-4. A kill by Lovesee and a solo block by Weaver lifted UTEP 12-5. The Bearkats continued to fight, but they gave up two errors to hoist UTEP into match point and UTEP's Darley once again came in clutch with the winning kill to sweep the series, 15-10.  

UTEP will host LA Tech Oct. 20-21 inside Memorial Gym at 6 p.m. and 12 p.m. MT. 

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Rachel Phillips

UTEP Athletics


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