The UTEP volleyball team will be taking on C-USA opponent Tulane at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the 2012 Kathy Trosclair Memorial at the Hertz Center in New Orleans, La. The Miners will continue play at the tournament going up against Baylor at 9 a.m., followed by Binghamton at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
UTEP went 2-1 this past weekend at the Razorback Invitational, defeating Louisiana-Monroe and Houston Baptist in three sets. The Miners were led by juniors Jeane Horton and Xitlali Herrera, who both earned spots in the Razorback Invitational All-Tournament team. Horton led the Miners’ attack, posting 54 kills and hitting .315. Herrera was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week after compiling 53 kills, 37 digs, 14 blocks (1s/13a) and registering a .413 hitting percentage.
Tulane Scouting Report
Series: The Green Wave lead the series with a 35-14 advantage. Last season the Miners won their matchup 3-2 after scoring five straight points in the last game. The Miners held the Green Wave to a .268 hitting percentage while posting a.315 hitting efficiency.
Green Wave Notables
Tulane is led by Cori Martone, who was named to the preseason All-Conference USA team. The junior is ranked in C-USA in kills per set (3.69-8th) and service aces (0.39-5th). Olivia Utt has anchored the team’s defense with 38 total blocks. Utt is ranked fifth in C-USA in blocks averaging 1.08.
Baylor Scouting Report
Series: Against the Baylor Bears, the Miners are 6-3. Last season the two squads squared off in a close match where the Miners fell, 3-2. UTEP hammered a match-high 61 kills and added 82 digs, 56 assists and eight aces.
The Bears are 10-1 and have defeated top-ranked California this season. Baylor is led by Alyssa Dibbern, who has totaled 114 kills and posted a .304 hitting percentage. Dibbern is also second on the team with 32 blocks.
Binghamton Scouting Report
Series: This will be the first time both teams will meet.
Leading the team is Xiomara Ortiz, who was named to the 2011 All-America East Conference second team. The junior leads the Bearcats’ defense with 167 digs and has added 10 service aces. On the offensive end, the squad is led by Iva Partaleva, who has registered 125 kills and 12 blocks (2s/10a). The Bearcats were chosen to finish fifth in the America East’s preseason poll.
Miners in the Rankings
The Miners are currently ranked second in Conference USA in hitting percentage (.238), second in blocks per set (2.42), fifth in kills per set (13.21) and assists per set (11.91). The squad has compiled an impressive 436 kills, 393 assists, 80 blocks (13s/134a) and 31 aces.
Nationally, UTEP is ranked 60th in blocks and 77th in hitting percentage.