Volleyball Falls To UTEP, 3-2, In C-USA Tournament
Nov. 17, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - Day one of the 2006 Conference USA Volleyball Championship at the University of Houston was concluded with another five-game match featuring No. 6 East Carolina and No. 11 UTEP. Playing the role of spoiler, the Miners upset the Pirates, 3-2 (33-31, 21-30, 26-30, 30-26, 15-8), and improved to 7-24 with the win. UTEP jumped out to the 1-0 lead, but dropped games two and three. They were able to battle back to force a fifth and deciding game and had no problem putting the Pirates away 15-8 in the fifth frame.
Senior setter Katie Smith directed the Miner offense efficiently and finished with a match-high 64 assists and added 20 digs to tally her 15th double-double. Two other Miners recorded double-doubles in the game as Catherine Chavez notched 15 kills and 19 digs, while Amy Sanders slammed a team-high 19 kills and added 10 digs. Keisha Hyman-Gifth chipped in with 17 kills and Elsa Reyes led her team with 23 digs.
Jamie Bevan was a force up front for the Pirates, stuffing back a game-high 12 blocks and adding 17 kills for the unconventional double-double, her second on the season. Bevan also hit .342 for the match. Kelley Wernert led ECU with 22 kills and added 17 digs for her 13th double-double. East Carolina's all-time assist leader Heidi Krug concluded her career with a 59-assist performance, to go along with 11 digs. The double-double was her eighth on the year. Hannah Fenker and Trish Monroe each notched 20-plus digs for the Pirates tallying 25 and 29, respectively.
UTEP head coach Ken Murphy thought his team played well overall and was led by its lone senior Smith.
"I thought a bunch of players played well," Murphy said. "Elsa Reyes played great and was in control of our serve receive patterns most of the night. Our team only has one senior, our setter Katie Smith, and she was really aggressive all night and it gave us confidence. We've played in a lot of five-game matches this year and lost most of them. But, tonight we just played with more confidence."
UTEP advances to face No. 3 Memphis at 7 p.m. on Friday night in the final match on day two. East Carolina finishes its regular season at 19-12.