Oct. 26, 2008
EL PASO, Texas – The UTEP volleyball team lost in three to the Rice Owls at Fox Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
“We put together a very good match,” head coach Ken Murphy said. “We hit a good percentage and our offense was working really well against a really good defensive team. We were well-balanced on the attack as Patty (Jarmoc) did a great job of moving the ball to open hitters.”
Rice took a 1-0 match lead with a 25-20 win over the Miners in the first set. The teams traded points and leads through the beginning of the set before the Owls pulled away to a 12-8 lead. The Owls extended the lead to 19-13 and grasped set point at 24-16. The Miners, however, put up a fight and scored four consecutive points off the set point.
Senior Daidre Mendenhall drilled four kills for a .500 hitting percentage as the Owls put the Miners away on a kill in set number one.
Down 10-16 in the second set, the Miners went on a 6-1 streak to steal the momentum from the Owls and come within one at 16-17. Rice ended the rally and extended the lead to 21-17, two consecutive kills from UTEP’s Amy Sanders cut the deficit by two. With the score at 24-20, the Owls struggled to end the set once again as the Miners refused to go away and scored three straight points. Rice took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-22 win in the second set. Sanders collected five kills in the match for a .416 attack percentage.
The Miners gave up a 5-1 lead to begin the third set. The teams traded points as the Miners regained the lead at 9-7. Rice continued to attack and tied the set several times but was denied a significant lead until late in the set. UTEP climbed out of a 23-19 deficit to take a 24-23 lead. Rice fought back and eventually took the match with a 28-26 win in the third set.
Sanders finished the day with a match-high 12 kills. Mendenhall registered a .450 hitting percentage with 10 kills and added three blocks. The Miners collected 41 kills and eight block assists.
“Both Daidre (Mendenhall) and Aidan (Mooney) were very effective at the net and I don’t think they ever slowed down Amy (Sanders). The difference in the match came down to Rice playing at a pretty high level when we got to the end of the games.”
UTEP will stay on the road next weekend when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to face the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Thursday, Oct. 30, before heading to Orlando, Fla., for a Sunday meeting with the Knights.