Miners to Take On the Cougars and Owls in Houston

EL PASO, Texas – The UTEP volleyball team will take to the road this weekend, in hopes to continue their conference win streak, as they take on Houston on Friday and Rice on Sunday in Houston.

After last week’s win at ECU, the Miners are riding a four-game conference road win streak.  The win also marked the first time since the 2002 season the Miners opened conference weekend with a win. UTEP is hoping to use that momentum to help power them past the Cougars and the Owls.

UTEP (5-10, 1-1 C-USA) is led by junior outside hitter, Christie Murphy, who ranks first in kills with 167 while averaging a team-high 3.09 per game.  Keisha Hyman-Gifth will also lead the the Orange and Blue in its frontal attack.  She is hitting .306 which ranks first on the team, as well as rates the best in blocks with 50 (3 solo, 47 assists).

Elsa Reyes is UTEP’s defensive threat.  So far this season, she has recorded 311 digs while averaging 5.55 per game.  She currently ranks 27th in the nation in digs per game and first in the league.

Houston (10-7, 1-1 C-USA) opened league action with a 1-3 loss to Memphis but then swept UAB in three.  The Cougars are currently 5-0 on their home court in 2006 and 9-0 dating back to last season.  El Paso native, Justine Farmer (Americas HS), leads the Cougars in kills with 252 total while averaging 4.13 per game.  She ranks second in digs with 212 and leads in digs per game with 3.62.

Rice came out 0-2 in last week’s conference opener, falling to Memphis and UAB.  The Owls, who are 6-9, take on Lamar at home tonight. Rice is paced by Karyn Morgan and Tessa Kuykendall.  Morgan leads the team in kills with 229 (4.02 per game) while Kuykendall is averaging one block per game after totaling 62 for the season. 

The Miners will use this weekend to gear up for their trip to Las Cruces, N.M. when they will face I-10 foe and 22nd-ranked New Mexico State.  They return home for a two week conference stint to take on Tulsa, SMU, Rice and Houston.



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