MINERS
UTEP Adds Strength to the Frontcourt for 2014 Season

Head Coach Holly Watts heads into her second season with the Miners.


Head Coach Holly Watts heads into her second season with the Miners.

EL Paso - UTEP head volleyball coach Holly Watts signed Kylie Baumgartner, Coline Coessens, April Luther, Brooke Packard and Dalainee Perry for the 2014-2015 season.

"The incoming class is very dynamic and athletic," Watts said. "They are going to push for playing time and with their drive I know they are going to improve UTEP volleyball from the start of their collegiate career."

Baumgartner was a force on the frontcourt for Carondelet High School as she led the Cougars to a 28-13 record. The middle blocker averaged 22.7 points a game tallying a career record of 2,634 points at Carondelet. The team captain registered 208 kills, 62 blocks (22s/80a) and 21 digs during her senior season. Baumgartner will be looking to be both an offensive and defensive threat for the Miners.

"Kylie Baumgartner is a very well rounded player," Watts said. "She is quick, has an explosive hit and can play anywhere along the net."

A native of Belgium Coessens brings international experience to the Orange and Blue. Coached by the highly admired Philippe Vanescote, the outside hitter played on the Flashing Second National team and the Barbargirls Ixelles team. She also attended the Vlaamse Volleyballbond Topsport School. In her last game of the 2013 season Coessens lead the Barbargirls to a 3-1 win over Vlamertinge Vlamvo with a match-best 14 kills. Coessens hopes to fuel the UTEP offense with her international power.

"With her international experience Coline Coessens brings great ball control," Watts said. "She will help execute our plays with effortless power."

Luther comes to UTEP from Poway High School. Standing at 6-1 Luther played three seasons of varsity volleyball. In 2013 she led the Titans to a 21-14 record as she averaged over a .500 hitting percentage in five matches. The California native ranked ninth in assists in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) with 43 assists her senior season. She was named 2013 CIF Runner up and garnered All-League honors in 2012. Luther looks to continue her success at UTEP as a setter.

"April Luther resembles a lot of setters that UTEP has had in the past," Watts said. "She is smart, and holds a calm presence that will be able to keep the offense steady and consistent."

Standing at 6-2 Packard is the tallest of all incoming and current players. She played two seasons of varsity volleyball and is the first Woodgrove High Volleyball player to receive a scholarship to play at the Division I level. As a senior she help lead the Wolverines to a 9-12 record, registering 89 kills, 44 blocks (36s/8a), 30 digs and 16 aces. The middle blocker also lent her talent to the Blue Ridge youth league, Western Loudoun Volleyball Club, the Northern Virginia Volleyball Association and Virginia Power. Packard will be protecting the Miners net during the 2013 campaign.

"Brooke Packard is a true middle blocker," Watts said. "With her height Brooke will help stabilize our front court while adding a dominant blocking presence."

Perry will begin her collegiate career as an outside hitter for UTEP in the fall. The freshman from Orlando, Fl., led Olympia High School to a 13-8 record and to the Class 8A volleyball region final against Lake Mary. In a match against No. 13 Boone Perry delivered eight kills, three aces and two blocks. She was also a member of the Top Select Volleyball Academy and was invited to play in the Orlando Senior Showcase. Perry will enhance UTEP's power along the net this fall.

"Dalainee Perry is a full rotation player," Watts said. "She is Dynamic and will add strength to our outside position."

UTEP will kick off the 2014 campaign with a tournament at the University of New Mexico. In Albuquerque the Miners will face UNM, Seattle and No.2 Texas.