The UTEP volleyball program announces its schedule for the 2012 campaign as released by head coach Ken Murphy on Tuesday.
“One of the best things about our team is that they like being challenged and playing in big matches,” said Murphy. “We’ve put together a schedule that will provide us with a lot of opportunities to test ourselves and improve as we move through the season.”
UTEP’s upcoming schedule includes 29 total matches with 16 against Conference USA opponents. The 13-match non-conference slate features four tournaments, including the El Paso Sports Commission Invitational, the UTSA Classic, the Razorack Invitational and the 2012 Kathy Trosclair Memorial.
The Miners will open the season on Aug. 24-25 at Memorial Gym, hosting Fresno State, Idaho State and Arizona State in the El Paso Sports Commission Invitational. The squad will face Fresno State in the season opener on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by matches against ISU and ASU on Saturday.
“We’re very excited about partnering with the El Paso Sports Commission again this year,” said Murphy. “We have a strong field of teams coming and we will have to be prepared and focused in every match in order to repeat as champions.”
UTEP will then travel to San Antonio, Texas for a two-day, two-match tournament on Aug. 31- Sept. 1, against Belmont and UTSA.
The Miners will then head to Arkansas for back-to-back matches against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Arkansas-Little Rock on Sept. 3-4.
The team will round out the pre-conference tournaments consecutive weekends at Arkansas on Sept-7-8 and Tulane on Sept. 13-15. In Fayetteville, Ark. the Miners will face Louisiana-Monroe, Houston Baptist and host Arkansas. UTEP will then head to New Orleans, La., for their first conference match against Tulane. The Miners will then have two matches against Baylor and Binghamton on Saturday. The Bears ended the 2011 season with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and rank 49th in NCAA RPI.
The Orange and Blue will return home to face Southern Miss on Sept. 23 and will go head-to-head against I-10 rival New Mexico State on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.
The Miners will wrap-up the season with the return of the Conference USA Tournament on Nov. 16-18 in Tulsa, Okla.
UTEP is coming off a strong season, producing a 19-14 mark. The Miners claimed two All-Conference USA selections with junior Xitlali Herrera named to the first team all-league squad and Jeane Horton named to the second team.