VB Recap: UTEP pulls off upset; SFA wins two more; HBU splits


UTEP Upsets Texas State in Four Sets

Story courtesy: Vinny Lavalsiti, UTEP Athletics

Coach Ben Wallis looked into junior Serena Patterson’s eyes during UTEP’s final timeout with the set point on the line.

“I told Serena Patterson that she was going to win the game on an assisted swing, a tough swing,” Wallis said. “Lo and behold, my foreseeable thought was what ended the game.”

UTEP Volleyball (0-0) upset the 2018 and 2019 Sun Belt Conference champion Texas State Bobcats (3-1) in four sets (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23) 3-1, in its second scrimmage Saturday morning. It was the first home loss for the Bobcats since Dec. 1, 2017, against Texas Tech.

Patterson – whose birthday it was today – wound up for a mighty swing to put to end a rally and a tight fourth and final set to give the Miners their first unofficial victory of the scrimmage season.

“(Patterson) was much better today and at understanding how to score,” Wallis said. “She had a better temperament today and didn’t get down on herself.”

Patterson ended her special day with eight kills and seven digs.

Sophomore outside hitter Alianza Darley collected a career-high 17 kills and redshirt freshman middle blocker Irbe Lazda added another 13 kills.

Wallis said the performance right side of the court – which was without the team’s top point scorer in 2019, Cheyenne Jones – was instrumental in the Miner win.

“(Darley and Lazda) were magnificent on the right,” Wallis said. “At one point we just kept force feeding balls to (them) and (Texas State) couldn’t stop them over here and that bodes well for us because we’re still missing our top point scorer who is a right. The fact that if we can get (Jones) back and be even more dangerous, we’re going to be tough to deal with.”

The Miners’ next set of scrimmages are against North Texas (0-0) and Stephen F. Austin (3-1) on Oct. 3-4.


VB: HBU Sweeps ULM, Falls in 5 to SFA

Story courtesy: Houston Baptist Athletics

HBU swept ULM, 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-21), then rallied but came up short in a five-setter to Southland Conference rival Stephen F. Austin, 3-2 (25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 15-9), in a pair of volleyball tilts Saturday in Shelton Gym.

In the opening match, sophomore setter Ellie Wipf led a balanced attack with 24 assists, seven errorless kills on 10 attempts, and seven digs. Senior outside hitter Mikayla Vivens led the Huskies (1-2) with eight kills and 13 digs, while sophomore Anna Gadway had seven kills and a pair of blocks. Junior outside hitter Kelly Colwell added six kills and 10 digs, senior middle blocker Megan Patillo ahd five kills and seven digs and junior middle blocker Jada Allen had five kills and four blocks. Sophomore libero Marisabel Torres-Rivera had 11 digs and freshman defensive specialist Madeline McKinney chipped in with six.

Haley Coulter recorded nine kills and 13 digs for ULM, while Cali Assaley had eight kills. Catherine Griffin added six kills and Kathryn Raschilla five. McKinley Thiede notched 17 assists and Karson Davis had 12. Chloe Jordan pitched in with 10 digs and Karson Davis had eight.

HBU hit .222, while limiting ULM to a .130 attack percentage. The Huskies outdug the Warhawks, 57-48, outblocked them, 7-2, and outaced them, 6-1.

HBU broke a 6-6 tie in the first set by scoring eight of the next 10 points. The Warhawks closed within two at 15-13, but the Huskies responded by scoring four-straight on back-to-back kills by Colwell and Vivens and an ace by McKinney. Leading 22-15, HBU gave up six-straight points as ULM closed within one, but the Huskies regrouped and scored three of the last four, including a pair of kills by Wipf, to take the opening frame, 25-22.

The Huskies used a four-point run to open up a 15-7 lead in the second set, but the Warhawks bounced back with five points of their own to close within three. HBU then ripped off a seven-point surge, which included a pair of aces by Patillo, to take control at 22-12. Allen put the set away with a kill for a 25-16 win.

McKinney had another ace to put HBU ahead, 5-1, early in the third, but ULM kept it close by scoring the next three. The Huskies kept the Warhawks at bay, until ULM was able to claw back to tie the set at 16-16. HBU scored three in a row, only to see ULM scored three-straight to knot the score again at 19-19. The Huskies were finally able to pull away with a four-point spurt, on kills by three different players, to get to set point at 24-20, then closed out the match on a kill by Wipf for the 25-21 decision.

Vivens and Colwell each recorded double-doubles against SFA, with Vivens posting 16 kills and 15 digs and Colwell going for 15 kills and 17 digs. Patillo added eight kills and three blocks and Wipf tallied 38 assists, five kills and 15 digs. Torres-Rivera matched Colwell for the team-high with 17 digs and McKinney had 10, a pair of aces and four assists.

Payton Cerny led SFA with 21 kills and Leah Powell had 16. Ariana Pagan double-doubled with 11 kills and 20 digs, Allie Hamsher had 31 assists and Malgorzath Anderson had 18 assists and 11 digs. Madelynn Miller paced SFA defensively with 23 digs.

SFA hit .243, while HBU hit .185. The Ladyjacks outdug the Huskies, 88-86, outaced them, 7-6, and blocks were even at six apiece.

The Huskies wrap up their abbreviated fall schedule with a pair of matches against Texas State Friday and Saturday in San Marcos.


Mitchell’s Aerial Attack Leads the Way in Sweep of Lamar

Story courtesy: SFA Athletics

Taya Mitchell slammed home 11 kills and the SFA volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 win (25-13, 25-19, 25-16) over the Cardinals of Lamar on Saturday inside Shelton Gym. The non-conference victory improved SFA’s overall record to 4-1 on the season.

Taya’s 11 kills on the day off of a hitting percentage of .786 led the Ladyjack offense, while four other Ladyjacks notched at least five kills. Defensively, SFA had two players reach double figures in digs as Ariana Pagan had 16 and Madelynn Miller had 11. Mitchell was also a force at the net in the match, recording five blocks in total.


Ladyjacks Pull Away in Fifth Set, Outlast Huskies at Home, 3-2

The SFA volleyball team took down the Houston Baptist Huskies 3-2 (25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 15-9) in five sets on Saturday at home inside Shelton Gymnasium. The victory improved the Ladyjacks’ record to 5-1 overall. 

The Ladyjacks were led by a double-double from Ariana Pagan, who registered 11 kills and 20 digs on the day. Payton Cerny also added 21 kills while hitting .326 to aid the Ladyjack attack. On the defensive end, Madelynn Miller chipped in 22 digs for the ‘Jacks.

SFA is back in action next weekend in Mobile, Alabama, as they travel to take part in a group of games hosted by the University of South Alabama. 

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