UTEP volleyball will travel to Norman, Okla. to take on No. 1 in Conference USA Tulsa at 6 p.m. (MT) on Friday. The Miners will then challenge SMU at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
UTEP (11-8, 5-2 C-USA) split the weekend action as they fell short against Rice, 3-0 and ran past Houston, 3-0 this past weekend. The Miners have continued to shine this year as they earned their first road victory against the Cougars.
Juniors Jeane Horton and Malia Patterson are on a roll as they dominated on the court this past week. Horton two double-digit kill performance, hammering 15 against Rice and Houston. Patterson recorded a pair of match-highs with 35 and 32 assists versus the Owls and Cougars, respectively.
Tulsa Scouting Report
Series: The Miners hold a 27-22 advantage over the Golden Hurricane after Tulsa swept UTEP in last year’s meetings. Xitlali Herrera and Jeane Horton led UTEP’s offense against Tulsa. Herrera recording five kills, three block assists and hit .250 for the match, while Horton posted a team-best 10 kills and added two blocks (1s/1a). Setter Malia Patterson registered a double-double with 24 assists and 13 digs. The Golden Hurricane out hit the Miners tallying 47 kills and a .309 hitting percentage.
Golden Hurricane Notables
Tulsa comes into the match ranking first in Conference USA with a 13-8 overall record, including 6-1 in the league. The Golden Hurricane are led by Tyler Henderson, who registered a match-high 20 kills against UCF but it wasn’t enough as Tulsa earned their first conference lose of the season this past weekend. Henderson is ranked second in the nation and first in C-USA for kills per set (5.22). The senior also knows how to stop some balls tallying 39 blocks (3s/36a) for the squad this season. Tulsa is ranked first in C-USA in kills (14.58), assists (13.47) and digs (17.70). The Golden Hurricane defense is led by senior Jessica Adams. The libero has posted 410 digs during her 2012 campaign and has earned the No. 1 spot in the league for digs.
SMU Scouting Report
Series: The Mustangs come into the weekend with a 19-7 record against the Miners. UTEP split the matches against SMU in 2011. In their first meeting Sophomores Jeane Horton and Jacqueline Cason registered career-highs of 17 and 14 kills, respectively as the UTEP volleyball team claimed its first Conference USA victory of the season over SMU. In last the squads second meeting, Xitlali Herrera posted a team-high 11 kills and Jeane Horton hammered 10 kills, but in the end SMU won a defensive struggle, 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 25-23), in Dallas, Texas.
SMU is ranked fourth in C-USA in kills per set (12.60), second in service aces (1.33) and seventh in assists (11.64). Courtney Manning leads the team recording a .328 hitting efficiency and checks in at No. 3 in conference in this category. The senior has posted 145 kills, 60 blocks (6s/54a) and 27 digs this season. Sophomore Caroline Young is ranked first in the league averaging 0.39 aces per set. Young also knows how to pound the ball hammering a total of 229 kills for SMU. The Mustangs have tallied 882 kills, 815 assists, 1,029 digs and 147.5 blocks (20s/255a) during their 2012 campaign.
Miners in the Rankings
The Miners continue to excel earning the No. 1 spot in Conference USA in blocks per set (2.47) and hitting percentage (.245), while ranking third in assists per set (12.49) and kills per set (13.66). The squad has compiled an impressive 929 kills, 849 assists, 168 blocks (37s/262a) and 70 aces.
Nationally, UTEP is ranked in the top-75 in two categories; hitting percentage (47th), blocks per set (54th) and kills per set (66th). The Miners also check in 85th in assists per set.