UTEP Volleyball Hosts SMU Sunday
Coming off a three-set loss to Tulsa on Friday, the Miners (10-5, 0-2) are looking for their first conference victory of the season when it takes on SMU on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. in Memorial Gym.
The Miners are paced by sophomore, Xitlali Herrera, the Mexican native blasted eight kills and hit a .353 mark. Herrera currently ranks second in Conference USA and 19th in the nation averaging 1.36 blocks per set. Setter Malia Patterson guided UTEP’s offense with 21 assists.
SMU at UTEP will be boradcast live via Gametracker at www.utepathletics.com. Fans can also access live video through UTEP’s All-Access channel for a small fee.
It is “Orange Out” at UTEP’s match against SMU on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. All individuals who wear orange will receive free admission to the game. There will also be a free autograph session immediately following the match. Tickets are on sale at the UTEP ticket center, and they may also be purchased on site prior to the start of the contest. The price is $7 for adults and $3 for children.
The Miners will be on the road again next week when they face off against Marshall on Friday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. (MDT).
SMU holds a big advantage with a 17-6 record against the Miners since their first meeting in 1996. Overall UTEP has a 6-7 record against SMU at home. The Miners fell 3-2 at home against SMU last year.
SMU returns nine letterwinners, including four (+libero) starters, from its 2010 squad. The Mustangs moved to 4-9 on the season after falling to UCF, 3-0 on Friday in their conference opener. SMU is led by Kelli Becerra who posted 20 assists and eight digs against the Knights. Becerra ranks seventh in C-USA averaging 9.29 asissts per set. Senior libero Sidney Stewart leads the conference in digs averaging 5.80 per set. Stewart has already compiled 272 digs and 37 assists this season. SMU out-blocked UCF 7-5, led by Courtney Manning, who had six blocks assists.
THE LAST TIME
The UTEP volleyball team bolted out to a 2-0 set lead only to have visiting SMU claim the final three sets to post a 3-2 triumph at Memorial Gym on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010. The Miners (12-16, 4-11 C-USA) won the first (25-22) and second sets (25-23) but the Mustangs (22-6, 14-2 C-USA) managed to rally to take the third (25-20), fourth (25-21) and fifth sets (15-12).
Malia Patterson posted a double-double with 58 assists and 13 digs, while Bridget Logan (16 kills, nine digs) nearly did so as well.
Stephanie Figueroa had a huge night, with a career-high 29 digs. She compiled 422 digs on the campaign, which ranks as the fifth-highest single-season total in program history.
The Miners have been stellar in 2011. UTEP holds national top-100 statistical rankings in match W-L percentage (63rd, .818), hitting percentage (69th, 0.237,) kills per set (86th, 13.20), assists per set (76th, 12.38 and blocks per set (60th, 2.37).
Individually, senior Figueroa is 11th in aces per set (0.58) and 46th in digs per set (5.02); sophomre Xitlali Herrera is 19th in blocks per set (1.36) and 72nd in hitting percentage (0.358); sophomore Malia Patterson is 80th in assists per set (10.2); senior Maria-Therese Joyce is 67th in aces per set (0.42).