UTEP Set to Compete at Leatherneck Invitational
Sept. 3, 2014
EL PASO, Texas- The UTEP Volleyball team continues non-conference play this weekend as it travels to Macomb, Ill. to compete in the Leatherneck Invitational. The Miners will open the tournament on Friday, matching up against the Saint Louis Billikens at 5 p.m. (MT). UTEP will round out the tourna- ment with a double header on Saturday, as it faces off against the Western Illinois Leathernecks at 12 p.m. and the Eastern Illinois Panthers at 5 p.m.
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UTEP went 0-3 this past weekend, falling to No. 2 Texas, Seattle University and New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. Lindsey Larson, who earned a spot on the Lobo Classic All-Tournament team, led the Miners with 77 assists, including a match-best 30 against 2012 national champion Texas. Coline Coessens powered the Miners' offense as she hammered out 28 kills, 15 digs, and four assisted blocks. Junior Talia Jones followed with 21 kills, eight digs, and two assisted blocks. Krystal Ejesieme led the Miners' defense as she posted 11 blocks (2s/9a) in her weekend debut.
Series: Saint Louis comes into the Leatherneck Invitation with a 4-1 advantage over UTEP. The last meeting between the two squads was in 1999, which was a 3-2 loss for the Miners.
Billiken Notables: The Billikens currently hold a 1-3 record and return a trio of All-Conference performers from last season's team that finished fourth in the Atlantic 10. Reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Danielle Rygelski returns after notching 420 kills (3.78 per set) and 241 digs (2.17 per set). The outside hitter recorded 11 double-doubles in her first season of collegiate volleyball, the 10th-most for a freshman in the NCAA. Setter Meredith Boe notched 1,116 assists, the second- highest total in the Atlantic 10. Rounding out the threesome is middle blocker Megan Gilbert, who registered a .343 attack percentage.
Western Illinois Scouting Report
Leatherneck Notables: Western Illinois opened its season with a trio of losses against Ball State (3-0), Northern Colorado (3-1) and Eastern Illinois (3-0). Four seniors pace Western Il- linois this season, Ann Miller, Sam Fournier, Molly Murphy and Mallory Gibson. The quartet has been a presence on the court since their freshmen season, playing in a combined 1,102 sets. Miller led the 2013 squad with 919 kills (3.02 k/s), while also recording 856 digs and 48 aces. Fournier compiled 807 digs (3.24 d/s), 531 digs, and 105 total blocks. Murphy paced the team with 33 service aces (0.39 per set) ranking her second in the Summit League and 35th in the nation. Gibson led the team in blocks per set with 0.70 and registered a career-best 10 blocks against Bradley (8/30/13).
Eastern Illinois Scouting Report
Panther Notables: Eastern Illinois opened its season with a 2-1 performance at the Ball State Tournament. The Panthers fell to Northern Colorado, 3-2, but beat out Ball State (3-1) and Western Illinois (3-0) for runner-up at the tournament. EIU returns 10 letterwinners includ- ing four starters. Leading the team's efforts are juniors Marah Bradbury and Chelsea Lee, who earned Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference honors. Bradbury led the OVC with 1,304 total assists last year, while the Panthers also paced the conference in hitting percentage, kills and assists. The setter recorded 15 additional assist/dig double-doubles last fall and secured six OVC `Setter of the Week' honors. She currently sports the eighth-most assists by a Panther and ranks fifth during the current OVC-era with 2,334 career assists. Teammate Lee had a breakout sophomore campaign as she finished second on the squad with 873 kills for a 3.18 kills-per-set mark and a .265 attack percentage. Those marks helped her rank in the OVC Top 10 for kills and points.
LARSON LOCKS IN ASSISTS
EJESIEME STANDS STRONG
MINERS DIG DEFENSE
The 2014 roster adds international flavor with Canadian native Lindsey Larson and Belgium na- tive Coline Coessens. In her high school career Larson led Humboldt Collegiate Institute to the 2010 Provincial 4A Volleyball Championship and a second-place finish in 2009 . The setter was named the 2011 Lumsden Tournament Most Valuable Player and was selected to the 2010 Lums- den Tournament All-Star team. She also participated in the 2011 Kamloops Western Canada Sum- mer Games where the team took bronze. This season the sophomore will be the Miners' starting setter. Last season, Larson saw action for the Miners as an outside hitter. She finished second on the squad in blocks with 51 (3s/48a) and added 126 kills. Coessens played for the Flashing Second National team from 2007-2008. She attended Vlaamse Volleybalbond Topsport from 2008-2009 and led the Barbargirls to a 3-1 win over Vlamertinge Vlamvo with a match-best 14 kills.
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