Three Miners Earn All-Conference USA Honors
Junior standouts Xitlali Herrera, Jeane Horton and Malia Patterson were named to the All-Conference USA squad, as announced by league officials on Tuesday.
Herrera and Horton earned spots on the first team while Patterson received second-team honors.
Herrera became the second Miner in program history to earn back-to-back first team honors, joining outside hitter Michelle Stovall (1983 and 1984). The junior is an all-around competitor and is one of two C-USA players that is a middle blocker and plays all six rotations. She has started in all 28 matches this season and leads the team in hitting percentage (.304) and is second in kills (323), digs (278), blocks (98) and aces (20). In C-USA matches this season, the middle blocker is ranked in three categories hitting percentage (.322-6th), kills (3.13-10th) and blocks (0.95-12th). Herrera has registered nine double-doubles this season for the Miners, including an impressive 17 kills and 15 digs versus Tulsa (10/12) where she led the squad’s defense and offense. She has earned three spots in the UTEP recordbook for hitting percentage in three sets (.647-4th) and four sets (.556-2nd) and (.542-4th). The middle blocker has totaled 10 or more kills in 18 matches and 10 or more digs in 14 matches during her 2012 campaign. This season, Herrera was named C-USA Defensive and Offensive Player of the Week.
This is Horton’s third honor; she previously was selected to the All-Conference USA second team (2011) and All-Freshman squad (2010). She has played and started in all 28 matches this season. The outside hitter is ranked 29th in the nation in kills per set (4.25) and points per set (4.89). She leads the team in kills (451), second in hitting percentage (.296) and third in blocks (78). Horton is one of two C-USA players to rank in the top 10 in kills (4.25-3rd), hitting percentage (9th) and points (4.25-3rd). The junior has earned the No. 2 spot in the UTEP recordbook for total kills (451) registered in a single season. During her 2012 campaign, Horton has recorded double-digit kill performances in 27 out of 28 matches, including a career-high 23 against Rice (10/21). She has totaled five 20 or more kill performances this season for the Miners and rates second all time for hitting percentage in four sets (.633). The Fresno, Calif., native was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week (9/24).
This is Patterson’s first All-Conference USA honor. The setter started and played in all 28 matches this season and checks in at 57th in the NCAA in assists per set (10.78) and leads the team in assists with 1,143. The junior is amongst the best in C-USA earning the No. 2 spot for assists per set. Patterson has registered 10 double-doubles this season for the Miners, including 52 assists and 15 digs versus Tulsa (10/4). Earlier this season, Patterson was named C-USA Setter of the Week (9/24 &10/1) and has helped UTEP secure the top spot in the league for hitting percentage (.241) and the No.3 spot in assists per set (12.21). She has registered 31 or more assists in 27 out of 28 matches this season.
The Miners will travel to Tulsa, Okla. to take on UAB in the first round of the C-USA Tournament at 1 p.m. (MST) on Friday.