UTEP Set to Compete at Art Carmichael Invitational

Taylor Nix

Sept. 12, 2013

The UTEP volleyball team returns to the court in the Art Carmichael Invitational in Kingston, Rhode Island on Friday against Hartford at 1p.m.(MT) and Rhode Island at 5 p.m. The Miners will wrap up the tournament against UMass-Lowell at 10 a.m. on Saturday. 

The tournament will be the third tournament of the season for the Orange and Blue.

UTEP won its first two home games this past weekend beating out Southern University, and Texas Southern University, but fell to Oral Roberts, 3-1. The 2-1 record led the Miners to finish second at the UTEP Invitational. 

Seniors Xitlali Herrera and Victoria Valencia, both earned a spot on the UTEP Invitational All-Tournament Team after leading the Orange and Blue on the court. Herrera led the Miners' attack as she hammered out 49 kills over the weekend. Valencia led the defense for the Orange and Blue with a total of 57 digs. 

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Hartford Scouting Report

Series: UTEP has control of the short series, leading 1-0. The last meeting between the two squads was in 2004, which was a 3-0 victory for the Miners. 



The Hawks are currently 2-7 after falling to the Marist Red Foxes and Dartmouth Big Green this past weekend. Hartford is averaging 11.6 kills and 11.0 assists per set.The Hawks finished the 2012 season 9-19 overall.

Hawk Notables

Leading Hartford on the court is duo freshman Corinne Horanzy and senior Taylor McCreery. The two led the Hawks with 16 combined kills this past weekend. Horanzy led Hartford against Marist with a match best 10 kills. McCreery followed with six kills and a .400 hitting average as she finished without an error in 15 attempts.

Rhode Island Scouting Report

Series:This will be the first matchup between the Miners and the Rams. Rhode Island was picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 in the preseason coaches poll released by the conference, as the Rams return eight players who were part of the team's regular rotation in 2012. URI is currently 2-4.

Ram Notables

Series: Leading the offensive effort for Rhode Island is Franki Darnold who managed the Rams with 64 kills. The sophomore has also registered 56 digs and five blocks this season. The outside hitter finished the 2012 season with 85 kills, 44 digs, 10 blocks, five service aces and three assists.

Also adding to Hartford's strength is Callan Kinnan. The setter was named Atlantic 10 Volleyball Rookie of the Week after leading the Rams to a 2-1 mark at the Lehigh Classis (08/30-8/31). 

She is the first URI player to earn the honor for the opening weekend of play. Kinnan led all Atlantic 10 players with a league best of 11.11 assists per set throughout the weekend. The freshman has totaled 169 assists and 48 digs in six matches. 

UMass-Lowell Scouting Report 

Series: The Miners and the River Hawks will face off for the first time at the Art Carmichael Invitational. 

UMass-Lowell holds a 0-5 record this season as the River Hawks enter their first year in NCAA Division I. UMass-Lowell returned nine of 13 players from the 2012 team, which went 11-14 overall and 6-9 in the Northeast-10 Conference. 

River Hawk Notables 

Ella Merrill leads UMa s s - Lowe l l 's offensive strength, having registered a team high 23 kills. 

In 2012, the junior saw action in all 25 matches compiling 230 total kills, 224 digs, 17 service aces and nine assists. The outside hitter reached double-digit kills 11 times and double-digit digs 11 times during her 2012 campaign. 

All-Tournament Honors 

While the Miners concluded the UTEP Invitational with a second-place finish, seniors Xitlali Herrera and Victoria Valencia extended the teams honors as both were selected to the UTEP Invitational All- Tournament Team. 

Herrera who was selected to the 2013 Conference USA Preseason Volleyball team, managed the offensive attack with 49 kills in the Miners' three matches against Southern, Oral Roberts, and TSU. The middle blocker captured 24 kills with only four errors against Oral Roberts. 

Valencia solidified UTEP's defense as she led the team with 57 digs in the tournament. The defensive specialists delivered a season high 38 digs against Oral Roberts. 

Top 100 

Only six matches into the 2013 season, seniors Xitlali Herrera and Victoria Valencia have already found themselves amongst the best in the country, as Valencia ranks 83rd in the nation for digs per set and Herrera ranks 58th in points per set and 61st in kills per set. 

The libero manages the Miners backcourt in digs (377) and service aces (26), ranking 12th in Conference USA in both categories. The senior set a career-high of 38 digs versus Oral Roberts (9/6). 

Last season, Herrera joined former UTEP outside hitter, Michelle Stovall (1983 and 1984) as one of only two Miners in program history to earn a spot on the AVCA All- American Honorable Mention team. 

The middle blocker also became the second Miner to earn back-to-back All-C-USA First- Team honors and be named to the ACVA All- Midwest Region First Team. 

Setting Up For Success 

In 2012, senior Malia Patterson totaled 1,177 assists for the Miners. In UTEP's season opener she proved that she is ready to dominate the court. 

The senior has registered a total of 188 assists in the first six matches for the Orange and Blue, averaging 9.40 assists per set. 

Patterson's consistent performance ranked her ninth in conference for assists (9.40 per set), a two slot improvement from last week, when she was ranked 11th in Conference USA. 

The setter dominated the court in the Miners' first match against Oral Roberts where she led the game with 55 assists. Patterson finished out the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational strong registering 25 and 26 assists versus Southern and TSU respectfully. 

The X-Factor 

Only five matches until 2013 Conference play, Xitlali Herrera has already established herself not only as a leader on the team but also in Conference USA as she ranks amongst the top players in three conference categories. 

The senior has hammered out 78 kills ranking her fifth in both points and kills per set, averaging 4.45 per set.Herrera has also generated 46 digs and 16 blocks for the Miners this season. 

The middle blocker is also ranked 16th in Conference USA in hitting percentage, averaging .290 per set. 

The Veteran wrapped up the 2012 season ranking in four categories in C-USA: hitting percentage (.301, 6th), points per set (10th), blocks (109, 13th) and kills (333, 13th). The standout led the team in hitting percentage (.300), rated second on the team in kills (333), digs (290), blocks (101) and aces (20). She helped the Miners rank first in the league and 70th nationally in hitting efficiency (.236). 

Victoria Delivers Defense 

Veteran Victoria Valencia is ranked 5th in Conference USA in digs per set. The libero secured 90 digs in the Miners' first six matches, averaging 4.50 digs per set. 

The El Paso native locked in 38 digs against Oral Roberts, earning her All-Tournament honors. 

In 2012, Valencia posted 377 digs in 29 matches for the Miners ranking her 12th in Conference USA. 

Aces for Acevedo 

In her first season with the Miners, transfer Dayana Acevedo is becoming a standout player as she continues to deliver competitive performance that ranks her among the best in the league. 

The junior secured seven service aces for the Miners ranking her eighth in Conference USA, averaging .35 services aces per set. 

Acevedo was a dominant backcourt player for Iowa Western as she earned multiple honors with the Reivers including: two-time NJCAA Division I All-American first team, two-time AVCA All-American first team, two-time all-Region first team and a two-time academic all-Region first team recipient. 

Conference Ranking 

After six matches, the Miners are already earning a spot on the Conference USA performance list as UTEP is ranked ninth in service aces as a team. 

Since the start of the 2013 season, the Orange and Blue has secured 26 services aces. 

The Miners' efforts in the 2012 campaign ranked UTEP nationally in the top 70 in two categories; hitting percentage (55th) and blocks per set (68th). 

The Conference USA Preseason Poll placed UTEP fifth out of 15 teams. The team concluded the 2012 campaign totaling, 1,444 kills, 1,330 assists, 1,518 digs and averaged a hitting percentage of .236. 

Senior Standouts 

The 2013 season will be one for the seniors as four veterans return for their final season with the Miners. Jacqueline Cason, Malia Patterson, and Victoria Valencia will join All- American Herrera in leading UTEP on the court. 

Last year, Cason ranked third on the team with 224 kills (2.06 kills per set), while her hitting percentage (.250) ranked 15th in the conference. The senior opened the 2012 season with a 13-kill performance versus Fresno state (8/24). Cason had her best overall performance in a win over Belmont (8/31) as she produced 12 kills (zero errors), with three block assists and a hitting efficiency of .600. 

Patterson led the Orange and Blue during the 2012 season in assists with 1,177. The senior ranked 57th nationally and second in the league in assists per set (10.80). Patterson registered 10 double-doubles, including 52 assists and 15 digs in a win over Tulsa (11/4) and tallied a season-high 56 assists during a victory over I-10 rival NM State (9/26). 

Valencia leads the Miners in digs (377) and service aces (26), as she ranked 12th in the league in both categories. The senior set a career-high of 22 digs versus Arizona State last year. 

Veteran Herrera registered 10 double-doubles last season for UTEP, including an impressive 17 kills and 15 digs versus Tulsa (10/12) where she led the squad's defense and offense. The middle blocker has earned three spots in the UTEP recordbook for hitting percentage in three sets (.647-4th), hitting percentage in four sets (.556-3rd) and (.542-4th). 

In the 2012 campaign Herrera was named C-USA Defensive and Offensive Player of the Week and received C-USA All-Academic honors. The senior concluded the season, as she became the second Miner in program history to earn back-to-back All-C-USA First Team honors and be named to the All- Region Team. 

Stepping Up to the Net 

Junior Taylor Nix and sophomore Talia Jones both boosted the Miners attack this weekend. 

Jones follows Herrera in team kills as she registered 61 kills including 16 kills against Oral Roberts. 

Nix is third on the team in kills as she delivered a total of 51 kills this weekend. 


In the Miners' third home match against Texas Southern University, senior Xitlali Herrera recorded her second double-double of the season. 

The middle blocker registered 12 kills and 12 digs against the Tigers. 

Herrera secured her first double stats of the 2013 season in the Miners' first game against San Diego capturing 15 kills and 12 digs. 

The senior is the only Miner to secure double-double stats of the 2013 season. 

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