UTEP Falls to WKU in CUSA Semifinals

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The UTEP volleyball team concluded its time in the Conference USA Tournament Saturday afternoon following its valiant effort in a loss to WKU in the CUSA semifinals at Liberty Arena. 

Alianza Darley paced the Miners with 15 kills while Torrance Lovesee and Marian Ovalle followed with 11 kills each. Kalia Kohler and Mattie Gantt combined for 39 assists. Kohler (19) and Lovesee (11) recorded double-digit digs for double-doubles. Kaya Weaver stuffed six blocks.

Set-by-Set: WKU 3, UTEP 2 (23-25, 15-25, 25-21, 25-15, 5-15) 

SET ONE | Six WKU errors made up UTEP’s first 10 points. WKU tied the score three times before taking the lead, 14-13, prior to the media timeout. UTEP regained the lead in a kill and block, but WKU pulled off three straight points forcing a UTEP timeout, 18-16. WKU approached set point and the Miners put up four straight points, forcing WKU to take a timeout, but the Tops grabbed the opening set win, 25-23. 

SET TWO | WKU took an early 6-1 lead and forced a UTEP timeout at 11-6. Coming out of the break, UTEP’s

Marian Ovalle connected on two kills and Alyssa Sianez landed an ace to close in 11-9. After an unsuccessful WKU challenge, the Tops stretched the lead, 17-11. Alianza Darley and Ovalle put up kills before WKU won the set on a 6-nothing run, 25-15. 

SET THREE | UTEP forced an early WKU timeout after dishing out four kills and utilizing three WKU errors, 7-2. UTEP remained in control, never letting WKU knot the score. Darley and Kaya Weaver slammed down kills pushing WKU to use its second timeout of the set as the Miners pulled ahead, 16-12. Marian Ovalle tacked on three kills for the Miners and Weaver shredded a kill and ace to put the Miners on the board, 25-21.  

SET FOUR | The Miners grabbed the early lead after winning a challenge to reverse the score and went on to hand in a 6-nothing run, 11-5. Four WKU errors doubled UTEP’s lead, 14-7. Sianez dealt two aces within UTEP’s 5-0 scoring run and Sakira LaCour put down a kill to win the set, 25-15, and force a fifth set. 

SET FIVE | UTEP won the opening point in the final frame, but WKU had nine unanswered points, 9-1, shortly after. Darley put down two kills and Weaver stuffed two blocks before the Tops snagged the match point, 15-5.