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UTEP falls 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-18) against UAB at the 2012 Conference USA Championships on Friday.
Jeane Horton proved to be a force for the Miners as she hammered a match-high 18 kills with only three errors on 50 attempts. The junior also registered a .300 hitting percentage and three digs versus the Blazers. Xitlali Herrera recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs. Victoria Valencia posted her second 20 or more dig performance with 20. Setter Malia Patterson compiled a match-best 34 assists.
UTEP (16-13, 10-6 C-USA) totaled 38 kills, 36 assists, 63 digs and five team blocks, but it wasn’t enough to take down UAB, who tallied 43 kills and hit a .279.
UAB took an early 9-2 lead to open the match with the help of Sam Skinner who had two kills. UTEP took a timeout to regroup and bounced back from the deficit with a pair of kills and two Blazer attack errors making it 9-6. The squads would trade points until UAB surged to a 7-1 run of off two UAB blocks. With the score at 18-9, Herrera struck with two kills and a block assist to bring the Miners within seven. Once again the teams would go back and forward until the Blazers sprinted out with a 3-1 run to close the set at 25-16.
UAB once again wasted no time rushing out to a 7-2 advantage led by Kristen Gallagher who tallied two kills and a block for the Blazers. Horton proved to be unstoppable as she hammered five kills and a block assist to bring UTEP within one at 9-8. Two kills by UAB’s Kate Morrell would put the Blazers up by three, but UTEP answered back with a kill and block it make it 11-10. UAB would not let the Miners get to close as the Blazers struck with a 6-1 run to make the score 19-13. Jacqueline Cason recorded two kills to bring UTEP closer, but it wasn’t enough as the Blazers posted a 4-2 run to take the second frame 25-18.
The third stanza saw eight ties and four lead changes. The final set began with neither team taking control. Horton registered back-to-back kills to give the Miners a one-point edge at 6-5. Madison Morris helped UTEP extend the lead with a kill, 7-6. The two teams would change points, until UAB began to build the momentum pounding an 8-0 run with the assistance of three Blazer blocks, 16-10. With the score at 18-14, UTEP started gaining momentum and Horton was on a roll registering three kills and a Miner block put the team within one at 19-18. UAB would not let UTEP take the frame as they responded back with a 6-0 run to seal the match at 25-18.
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