HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Marshall volleyball struggled to finish off sets on Thursday afternoon, and it ended up finishing off their volleyball season in disappointing fashion.
The Herd dropped a straight-set loss to UTEP (25-22, 27-25, 25-19) in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
The final set provided a glimpse at the theme of the day for Marshall.
The Herd trailed just 19-18 in the third after an attack error by UTEP, but the Miners scored five straight points to take control before finishing off the match with a kill by Ava Palm.
Marshall’s disappointing finish came after a pair of performances in the first two sets in which the Herd was in position to win both sets.
The back-breaker was a 27-25 loss in the second set, which came after the Herd seemed poised to knot the match at one set apiece.
Marshall led 23-19 following a kill from Anna Calcagno, but UTEP scored four straight points to knot things up.
The Miners took advantage of many Marshall errors in the match, using a service error to lead 26-25 before a reception error on the serve produced the set win and a 2-0 lead.
Marshall was also within 22-21 in the first set, but the Miners used a pair of Serena Patterson kills — one to distance a two-point lead, then the last to get UTEP off to a 25-22 win.
DeBell finished with 12 kills in the match while setter Sydney Lostumo added 32 assists.
UTEP’s balanced offensive attack hit .385 for the match and saw Patterson end with 14 kills while Paulina Perez Rosas added 12 and Palm finished with 11.
With the loss, Marshall’s season ends at 10-5 with all five losses coming against Conference USA competition.
UTEP (10-6) moves on to face top-seed Western Kentucky in the Conference USA semifinals.