Preparing for the final stretch
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
The UTEP volleyball team returned to their home court after losing three of their last four matches on the road to face Houston Oct.19.
They were dominant in their performance as they swept the Cougars 3-0 (25-13, 25-16 and 25-19).
Head coach Ken Murphy was pleased with his team’s performance and the manner in which they continue to play as the season winds down.
“We had a plan to stop some stuff, be really aggressive, and real physical in some areas with them, and I think our team just executed about as well as you could do it,” Murphy said. “I think blocking wise we were really strong, and when they hit around our block we were just in great positions on the court, and converted a lot of points.”
With six games remaining in the season, the victory allowed the Miners to move up in the Conference USA standings and share fourth place with Marshall University.
After three close losses on the road, the Miners were focused and ready to get back on track, get back in the winning column, do it at home and in front of their fans.
“We felt that we played good on the road, but when you lose them (the games) close you just want to make sure you get back on track. You want to make sure you don’t lose your confidence too much,” Murphy said. “I felt tonight was really important for us to do just that. To bounce back from those and get comfortable in our gym again, feel our crowd, and all that and play a really strong match and I thought we responded just as well as you could.”
The entire team was in sync, as Jeane Horton led it with 10 kills. Teammates Jacqueline Cason and Xitlali Herrera had eight kills each to add to their performance.
“We came out and did what we practiced on all week long,” Horton said. “We had the results and we know that if we play together as a team we can keep going and building towards the Conference USA tournament.”
Another key player in the win was Cason, who was quite happy with her team’s performance and how everyone contributed to this win.
“We were a little scared because we beat them easily last time and we wanted to make sure we did it again,” Cason said. “Our team was in it to win it the whole way through. There was no lagging at all.”
The Miners faced Rice University on Oct. 21, dropping three of five sets (20-25, 31-29, 25-13, 19-25, and 15-11). UTEP’s next game is against Tulane at noon, Oct. 28, at Memorial Gym.
“We’ve been practicing really hard during the week, and we know that not every game is going to be easy so we knew we’re going to have to dominate this game,” freshman defensive specialist Amber Massey said. “We’ve been working really hard on offense and defense equally, because we don’t feel that one is better than the other.”
Herman Delgado may be reached at email@example.com.