UTEP volleyball holds first practice of 2013 season

UTEP volleyball holds first practice of 2013 season
Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 5:10pm

Head coach Holly Watts, and the Miners will hold their first practice of the 2013 season.

Head volleyball coach, Holly Watts and the Miners will hold their first practice of the 2013 season on Aug. 12th at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

With the addition of Watts and four new players, UTEP is looking to dominate Conference USA.

Last season the Miners had an overall finish of 16-13, and finished fifth in Conference USA with a record of 10-6.

Last season, the Miners finished among the best in Conference USA statistically, placing first in hitting percentage (.241), while ranking second in blocks per set (2.38), third in assists per set (12.21) and kills per set (13.26) and eighth in service aces (1.02). The squad collected an impressive 1406 kills, 1294 assists, 252 blocks (56s/392a) and 108 aces. 

Nationally, UTEP is ranked in the top 70 in two categories; hitting percentage (55th), and blocks per set (68th).
For the 2013 season, UTEP will hold a team of 13 players including nine returning players
Among those players are standout seniors, Xitlali Herrera and Malia Patterson.

Herrera is an all-around player, as she is one of two Conference USA middle blockers that plays all-six rotations. The senior holds top rankings in three categories in Conference USA only matches. The senior checks in fourth in hitting percentage (.329), ninth in blocks (1.02) and kills (3.22). The middle blocker had a remarkable weekend, hammering 18 kills with only three errors versus SMU (11/2). Herrera also hit .556 earning the No. 3 spot in the UTEP recordbook for hitting percentage in four sets. The Mexican native leads the team in hitting percentage (.307).

She has contributed eight double-doubles last season for the Miners, pounding 11 kills and 16 digs versus Tulsa (11/4). Herrera also earned her career-high dig total in a match with 19 against Rice (10/21). Herrera ranks second on the team in four categories; kills (306), blocks 95 (13s/82a), digs (258) and service aces (18).

Patterson is setting her own mark on the court having tallied 10 double-doubles in 2012 season. The senior registered 52 assists and 15 digs and added five block assists versus Tulsa (11/4). The setter continues to maintain the No. 2 spot in the conference rankings and has secured the No. 53rd spot nationally for assists per set (10.70). The setter has recorded 31 or more assists in 25 out of 26 matches thus far. She has helped the squad post a .239 hitting percentage, leads the conference and ranks 56th nationally.

UTEP will open the 2013 season in Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aug. 30th-Sept. 1st, where the Miners will face off against San Diego, Texas and Hawai’i.

The Miners will then return to Memorial Gym and open their home season with the El Paso Sports Commission Volleyball Invitational.

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