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The Miners dropped their final regular season match versus Marshall, 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-16) on Sunday.
Jeane Horton led the squad with 14 kills with only three errors and registered a .324 hitting efficiency. Helping protect the net was Xitlali Herrera, who posted three lock assists, nine digs and five kills versus Marshall. Setter Malia Patterson recorded 32 assists and seven digs and Victoria Valencia tallied 11 digs.
UTEP (16-12, 10-6 C-USA) totaled 35 kills, 46 digs, 33 assists and four total team blocks, but it wasn’t enough as Marshall hammered 49 kills, 51 digs and 44 assists to outlast the Miners.
At the start of the first set Marshall took an early 3-1 lead before UTEP battled back from the deficit tying the frame at 4-4. The Herd responded with a 4-1 run to make it 8-5. The squads would trade points, until Marshall pounded four straight points forcing UTEP to call a timeout at 15-9. The Miners answered back with three consecutive points led by juniors Herrera and Horton, who both registered kills to make it a three point game. The Herd would not let the Miners get to close as they hammered a 6-1 run to put the score at 21-13. Senior Cassandra Burruel helped UTEP bounce back by posting two kills, followed by two Herd errors, 22-17. Marshall would not go away as they recorded a final 3-1 run to close the set, 25-18.
Both teams battled for control of the frame, as the set saw five ties and two lead changes. With the score tied at 8-8, Marshall picked up the pace with a 6-2 run led by Laura Der who posted two kills and a block. Horton would fight back for the Miners with two straight kills to bring UTEP within three at 16-13. Once again the teams would switch points and UTEP struck with a pair of kills and a block assists by Patterson and Herrera to put the score at 21-18. Marshall would pick up the pace in the set surging to a 4-1 run to take the stanza, 25-19.
UTEP took a 2-0 advantage with a block assists and kill by Jacqueline Cason, but the Thundering Herd stormed out to an 8-1 run putting Marshall ahead at 8-3. The Herds momentum continued in the set as they put together an 8-2 run make it 17-7. Horton tried to bring the Miners back into the match hammering four kills, but it wasn’t enough as Marshall held a 22-14 lead in the third frame. Logan and Cason would score two more kills for the Miners setting the score at 24-16. Ultimately, the Thundering Herd prevailed with one last kill by Der to claim their spot in the C-USA Tournament, 25-16.
UTEP has concluded their regular season, but will now travel to Tulsa, Okla. to compete in the C-USA Tournament on Friday. The conference seeding for the tournament will be announced tonight and will be available at www.c-usa.org.
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