Aggie Volleyball Sweeps UTEP For 13th Straight Victory In The Series

Jennah DeVriesA couple of big point runs by the Aggies resulted in the team's 13th straight victory over their I-10 rivals, the UTEP Miners, on Tuesday night in El Paso. Kayleigh Giddens paced the Aggies with 15 kills and the Aggies committed just 11 attack errors on the night in the victory. "We did a pretty good job from the service line," said head coach Mike Jordan. "We served it fairly tough at times."

The first set saw the Aggies jump out to a quick 3-1 lead before the Miners would tie things up at 3-3. The set would remain tied at 7-7 and then again at 9-9 when the Aggies would go on the first of their two big runs in the match. The Aggies would reel off eight consecutive points behind tough serving by sophomore libero Ellen Miks. The Agies would get a kill by Whitney Woods followed by a block by Stephanie Ziegler and Kelsey Brennan. After a double contact was called on the Miners, Miks would deliver a service ace to put the Aggies up 13-9. A kill by Kayleigh Giddens would force the Miners to call a timeout down 14-9. The timeout wasn't effective as the Aggies continued their point run as back-to-back-to-back hitting errors by UTEP's Jacque Cason and Jeane Horton would give the Aggies a 17-9 lead. The Miners would finally end the Aggies' point run scoring a point off as Ellen Miks was unable to come up with a dig on an attack by Jacque Cason.

The Aggies would score five of the next six points to push their lead out to 12 points at 23-11. The Miners would score four of the next five points to cut the Aggies' lead to 24-15 but a kill by Aggie middle blocker Michelle Kuester would end the set 25-15. The Aggies hit .393 in the set while holding UTEP to a .176 hitting percentage. The Miners committed eight attack errors in the set.

The second set saw the two teams battle closely through the early going as the set was tied 3-3, 4-4, 7-7. The Miners would lead 8-7 but the Aggies would put together their other long point run behind tough serving by junior setter Jennah DeVries. This eight point run saw the Aggies get kills by Kayleigh Giddens followed by a hitting error by back-to-back hitting errors by the Miners. DeVries would deliver three service aces in the next five points to put the Aggies up 15-8. The Miners would not call a timeout during the Aggies' run and finally scored on a kill by Cassandra Burruel. The Aggies would push their lead out to seven points on a solo block by Michelle Kuester on Burruel.

Unlike the first set, the Miners would battle back from the seven point deficit scoring nine of the next 11 points to tie the set at 20 apiece. With the set tied at 21 all, UTEP's Melissa Toth committed a service error. Kayleigh Giddens would record a kill on the next point putting the Aggies ahead 23-21. UTEP would commit another mental mistake as they were called for four hits and Whitney Woods would end the set with a kill to give the Aggies the 25-21 set two victory.

The Aggies hit .318 in the second set as they would commit just three attack errors. The Miners again supplied much of the Aggie point total committing nine attack errors and hitting just .162 in the set.

The third set saw the Aggies jump out to a quick 4-2 lead but the Miners would take the lead at at 6-5 after Stephanie Ziegler was blocked by Jacque Cason and Cassandra Burruel. The Aggies would battle back to tie the set at 7-7 after kills by Ziegler and Kelsey Brennan. The set would remain tied at 10-10 after a hitting error by the Aggies' Kayleigh Giddens. The Aggies would score three consecutive points to go ahead 13-10 and would push their advantage out to four points at 17-13 after UTEP was called in the net.

A hitting error by UTEP's Bridget Logan gave the Aggies their largest lead of the set at 19-14 but the Miners would cut the lead down to two points at 19-17 forcing the Aggies to call a quick timeout. Out of the timeout the Aggies would get three straight kills, one by Kelsey Brennan and back-to-back kills from Kayleigh Giddens to once again go ahead by five. UTEP would battle back one final time cutting the Aggies' lead to 23-21 after a hitting error by Kayleigh Giddens. After a quick timeout by the Aggies, UTEP's Melissa Toth would get a kill to trim the lead down to one at 23-22. However, a service error by Jennifer Nolasco gave the Aggies match point at 24-22 and after another tough serve by Jennah DeVries, the Miners were unable to handle the serve and an overpass was thundered down by Kayleigh Giddens to end the set 25-22 and the match 3-0. "If you hit a tough ball in the seam you can create some issues, fortunately for us the kid overpassed it and to the right person, Kayleigh is the one you want hitting that overpass," said Coach Jordan.

Giddens led all players with a match-high 15 kills. She would finish the night with a .233 hitting percentage and added six digs, one block assist and a service ace. Jennah DeVries led the Aggies from the service line with three aces and did not commit a service error. DeVries also added three block assists and two digs to along with her 32 assists. Kelsey Brennan finished the night with six kills on eight swings with just one attack error and hit .625on the night. She also added three block assists. Right-side attacker Whitney Woods was spotless on the night finishing with six kills on 11 swings with no hitting errors to hit .525 on the night. Stephanie Ziegler, playing at the second outside hitter position on the left side had seven kills on 17 swings with just one hitting error and finished the night hitting .353.

The Miners' Melissa Toth and Bridget Logan each had nine kills but also combined for 13 attack errors, six for Toth and seven for Logan as the duo hit .091 and .080 respectively. Jacque Cason had eight kills and hit .429 on the evening while Cassandra Burruel finished with seven kills on nine swings with two attack errors for .556 hitting percentage.

Defensively the Aggies finished with 8.5 total blocks while UTEP finished with seven. Freshmen Shelby Tamura and Rocio Gutierrez each had a team-high eight digs. UTEP's Stephanie Figueroa recorded a match-high 11 digs for the Miners.

The Aggies improve to 5-1 on the season while UTEP falls to 4-3. The Aggies will head to Baton Rouge, LA this weekend where they'll face Rice, No. 21 LSU and North Carolina.