Miners Ready to Conclude Regular Season
El Paso, TX — After two weeks on the road, the UTEP Volleyball team will wrap up the regular season at home for senior Weekend as the Miners match up against leading conference contender Tulsa at 7 p.m. (MT) on Friday and East Carolina on Sunday at 12 p.m.
Earlier this week UTEP (13-12 overall, 6-6 C-USA rounded a four match road swing with back-to-back losses to UNT and NM state.
Xitlali Herrera led the Miners against UNT as she hammered out a match high 13 kills while delivering 12 digs. sophomore Talia Jones followed with 10 kills with only 2 errors, posting a .471 hitting percentage against the Mean Green. Malia Patterson aided the Miners’ offense securing 27 assists.
In the 2013 edition of the Battle of the I-10, Herrera led the Miners offensively and defensively as she delivered a match high 19 kills while posting 15 digs. The middle blocker also contributed four blocks (2s/2a), earning 22 points for UTEP.
Securing her fourth double-double of the season, Patterson added power to UTEP’s effort on the court with a match high 44 assists and 18 digs.
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Tulsa Scouting Report Series: UTEP leads the series over TU 28-24. Last season Xitlali Herrera posted 11 kills versus the Golden hurricane. Herrera earned her eighth double-double of the season with 16 digs and added five block assists.
Malia Patterson not only recorded another double-double, but also struck with a match-high 52 assists. The setter also tallied 15 digs and five block assists for the Miners defensive efforts.
Golden Hurricane Notables
Currently holding first place in Conference USA, Tulsa is led by both its rookies and veterans. Outside hitter Kellie Culbertson leads TU with 3.44 kills per set, which ranks 10th in the C-USA, and with 0.53 service aces per set, which leads the C-USA and ranks eighth in the NCAA.
Junior setter Bailey Clampitt leads TU with 7.18 assists per set and freshman libero Brooke Berryhill leads with 4.56 digs per set, which ranks sixth in the C-USA. The hurricane leads the NCAA with 18.62 digs per set.
East Carolina Scouting Report Series: The Miners lead the series against the Pirates, 9-3. Last season Xitlali Herrera also had a stellar match posting a double- double with 12 kills and a team-high 11 digs. Setter Malia Patterson tallied 52 assists and five digs to help UTEP secure the win.
ECU is led offensively by Nicole Willis who averages 3.75 kills per set and 4.24 points per set. Both ratios are good for seventh in the conference. Willis also adds 2.77 digs per set, for second on the squad, along with a team- leading 0.18 service aces per set.
Seniors Xitlali Herrera and Malia Patterson are setting their own mark on the court have already tallied a combined total of 14 double-doubles this season. Most recently, the seniors registered double-double performances in the Battle of the I-10 against rival NM State.
Herrera who has posted 10 double-doubles delivered a match high 19 kills while posting 15 digs. The middle blocker also contributed four blocks (2s/2a) to secure 22 points for UTEP.
Patterson secured her fourth double-double of the season versus the aggies as she secured added power to UTEP’s effort on the court with a match high 44 assists and 18 digs.
Miners in the Rankings
The Conference USA Preseason Poll placed UTEP fifth out of 15 teams.
With two matches left in conference play, the Miners are currently in eighth place with a 6-6-league record. UTEP is currently ranked third in service aces (1.43), 10th in hitting percentage (.192) and digs (14.52), 11th in kills (13.02) and assists (11.91) and 13th in blocks (159.5). The squad has compiled an impressive 1,143 kills, 1,055 assists, 159.5 blocks (56s/207a) and 100 service aces.
Nationally, UTEP is ranked 104th in kills per set with Herrera leading the pack with 373 kills.
Larson Locks in Points
Redshirt freshman, Lindsey Larson captured a career high .538 hitting percentage in UTEP’s match against UTSA (10/27) as she hammered out 8 kills with only one error. Larson also posted two assists and digs, and one block assist. The setter fired up the Miners’ score with 8.5 points. This season, Larson has secured 99 kills, 59 digs, 40 assists, 37 blocks (1s/36a), and four service aces.
C-USA Taking Notice
Xitlali Herrera is the only Miner to earn a Conference USA Player of the Week honor. The veteran earned the leagues offensive award (10/22) after leading UTEP to a 3-0 win over Rice. Herrera hammered out 12 kills with only one error, securing her a .611 hitting percentage. The middle blocker also posted eight digs and two block assists.
Xitlali Herrera is known for being a force at the net. The senior leads the frontcourt with 373 kills and is ranked fourth in Conference USA. The senior’s execution in kills has also garnered her NCAA recognition as she ranks 27th in the nation in kills per set (4.25).
The middle blocker tied for the top spot in the UTEP recordbooks in kills in three sets. Herrera hammered a career high 24 kills against Oral Roberts 9/26. Herrera sits next to Catherine Porter (1999) in the category with 24 kills posted against Rice.
Talia Tallies Success
Sophomore Talia Jones adds depth to the Orange and Blue as she consistently puts up stats for the Miners.
Jones is second on the team in kills with 268 this season including a season high 18 kills against Louisiana Tech (9/27) in UTEP’s Conference USA opener.
The sophomore also excels in service aces as she ranks second in C-USA. Jones has delivered 29 aces, averaging 0.34 per set including a season best against Texas southern (9/7).
Jones performance also ranks her 17th in the league for points as she averages 3.69 per game. The outside hitter pounded a stellar 16 kills posting a .300 hitting percentage against UAB (10/25).
Senior Victoria Valencia has dented the UTEP recordbook this season.
The libero earned the top UTEP individual all-time spot in digs in three sets as she registered 38 digs against Oral Roberts (9/6). The El Paso native has since posted 318 digs, averaging 3.70 per set. Valencia is ranked 16th in Conference USA for digs.
In 2012, senior Malia Patterson totaled 1,177 assists for the Miners, and in 2013 she has proven that she will continue to her dominance on the court. The senior has registered a total 892 assists including a season high of 55 against Oral Roberts (9/6).
She is ranked seventh in Conference USA for assists (10.18 per set). The setter has already climbed up the UTEP recordbook earning third in program history with a career total of 3,609 assists. Chris Brandl (88-91) rates first with 4,210.
Herrera on Track for Huge Season
Xitlali Herrera has shown to be a force as she leads the Orange and Blue both defensively and offensively. The senior has executed ten double-doubles this season. Herrera leads the team as she ranks in kills, hitting percentage, and points in league play and nationally. she has posted 373 kills, 23 assists, and nine service aces. Defensively, Herrera has already secured 81 blocks (21s/60a) this season, bringing her career total to 314 (45s/269a). If she can maintain her current pace, she would finish fourth all time at UTEP in career blocks.
Senior Leaving Her Mark
After only three seasons with the Orange and Blue, Herrera has become the 10th Miner in program history to join the 1,000-kill club. The senior has registered an outstanding 1,077 kills in only three years with UTEP.
The middle blocker is an all-around player that has already captured 373 kills in only 25 matches. The senior has also tallied eight double-doubles this season for the Miners.