Miners Sweep Up HCU

NEW ORLEANS, La. – UTEP Volleyball improved to 8-2 with the sweep of Houston Christian (25-22, 25-11, 25-16) Friday afternoon at the Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

UTEP’s Torrance Lovesee registered 10 kills and a solo block to lead the Miners with 11 points. Hande Yetis and Mattie Gantt combined for 35 assists while Madison Hill recorded a career-high nine digs. 

UTEP held the all-around statistical advantage in kills (44-26), hitting percentage (.355 – .088), blocks (6-2), and aces (4-2). 

SET ONE | The opening set consisted of nine tied scores and three lead changes. To kick off the set, both teams battled it out as UTEP took over at 8-7.  The Huskies forced UTEP to take a timeout as the Miners were down by two, 10-12. UTEP dished out a 6-2 run to take the final lead of the set, 18-15. HCU closed the deficit at 20-20, but the Miners approached set point on a 4-0 run and secured the set win courtesy of a Husky error, 25-22. 

SET TWO | In under 20 minutes, UTEP held the Huskies to only 11 points in the second frame. The Miners whipped out a 10-0 scoring run that consisted of two HCU timeouts to lead 16-5. The Huskies had a small run of their own, but the Miners were untouchable as they closed the set on two Lovesee kills, 25-11. 

SET THREE | UTEP opened the final set with a kill from Danika Washington and three HCU errors. HCU won a challenge to come within two of the Miners, 11-9. However, a 4-0 serving run from Lovesee put it out of reach for the Huskies as the Miners stretched the lead to 17-11. UTEP locked in its second-straight sweep with five unanswered to secure the 25-16 win. 

“We’ve got a deep roster where we can move pieces and still not skip a beat, which is awesome,” head coach Ben Wallis said. “I’ve wanted to get Marian (Ovalle) on the floor more recently, but we’ve played some really physical teams this season, and Sakira (LaCour) has been really good at stopping people. It was nice to see our reception get more comfortable. We were a little reckless from the service line at times, but we were able to out-dig a really good defensive team. They [HCU] were whacking the ball all over the place and we held them to a low percentage—under 100—which is good. We’re thankful to get our second win, and now we have to turn our attention to Clemson and get our brains in the right place to try and get out of here 3-0.”