Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTEP rallies from behind UTSA on Monday

EL PASO, Texas – Hunter Coppola finished with a team-leading 16 kills but UTSA volleyball fell in four sets (26-24, 10-25, 20-25, 23-25) at UTEP, on Monday afternoon at Memorial Gym.
UTSA (3-6, 1-2 Conference USA) saw UTEP (4-3, 2-1 C-USA) answer a first-set Roadrunner win with three straight games to claim the comeback win in the first of two matches in El Paso on Monday and Tuesday. 
Trailing 22-18 in the first set, UTSA roared back with eight of the final 10 points to claim a 26-24 win. The Miners used runs of 9-0 and 8-0 to claim a 25-10 win in the second game. With UTSA leading 19-17, the Miners notched eight of the last nine points, including runs of 5-0 and 3-0, for a 25-20 win in the third. UTEP used a 4-0 run to erase a three-point UTSA lead and take a 22-21 lead in the fourth, finishing it off at 25-23 to clinch the match.  

Coppola had 16 kills and a .279 hitting percentage, with two blocks. Bianca Ejesieme added six kills, while freshman Amanda Ifeanyi finished with four kills and two blocks. 
Walters, a native of McKinney, Texas, led UTSA with 31 assists, adding nine digs and three kills. 
Junior libero Mia Ybarra had a team-leading 16 digs, adding four assists and a kill. 
Junior Kirby Smith, the 2018 C-USA Freshman of the Year, had seven kills, six digs and five assists. 
The Roadrunners hit .159 as a team in the loss, owning 24 attacking errors, adding six blocks and four service aces. UTEP hit .305 in the win, with 10 service errors, seven aces, and 10 blocks. UTEP's Serena Patterson had a match-high 19 kills on a .471 hitting percentage. 
The two-match series will conclude on Tuesday at 12 p.m. CT at Memorial Gym, live on CUSA TV. 
UTSA opened the match with the first points of the opening set before taking a 4-3 lead and seeing the match tried at five after Coppola's kill. After UTEP built a 22-18 lead, UTSA used a timeout before roaring back. Langridge's kill and a block from Langridge and Ejesieme cut the lead to 22-20 and forced a UTEP timeout. After the Miners took the lead to 23-22, Maddie Thayer's ace evened the match at 23 and Smith and Langridge answered a UTEP point with a block to tie it at 24. After a hitting error, Ifeanyi claimed the set point with the kill at 26-24. 
In the second set, the Miners and the Roadrunners split the first eight points. UTEP then took control with a 9-0 run, featuring five UTSA errors and two Roadrunners timeouts. After UTSA cut the lead to 16-6, UTEP used an 8-0 run to build a 23-7 lead, finishing off a 25-10 win that saw the Roadrunners got for seven attack errors in the game. 
The Roadrunners opened the scoring in the third with a Smith kill and took a 4-3 lead after Coppola's seventh kill. A 2-0 UTSA run gave UTSA a 7-5 lead, including kills from Ejesieme and Smith. Ejesieme's solo block gave UTSA an 8-6 lead but the Miners notched two straight to even the game. Back-to-back kills from Coppola and Alicia Coppedge pushed UTSA to a 12-10 lead. UTEP evened it at 13 with a 2-0 run and after a 2-0 run – featuring the seventh kill from Smith and the ninth from Coppola, to a 17-15 lead. Coppola's 10th kill and an ace from Mia Perales gave UTSA a 19-17 lead and forced a UTEP timeout. The Miners then scored eight of the next nine points, including runs of 5-0 and 3-0, to post the 25-20 win. 
UTSA notched the first two points in the fourth and took a 4-3 lead behind Ybarra's kill. A 2-0 run, finished with an Alexis Pratt ace, gave UTSA a 6-4 lead. The Miners evened it at six before kills from Walters and Coppola gave UTSA an 8-7 lead. A 2-0 run with a Coppola kill and a Coppedge and Coppola block led to a 10-8 lead, which was quickly evened by the Miners. UTSA built a 20-16 lead behind a 6-0 run that saw Ifeanyi earn a block, Smith an ace and Coppola smash three straight kills. The Miners scored six of the next seven – including a 4-0 run – to take a 22-21 lead before Alison Jennings' kill tied it up. A 2-0 run gave the Miners set point and after a UTSA point, UTEP finished it at 25-23. 
- UTSA -