Volleyball Take On SMU and Tulsa in Two-Match Home Series
Sept. 28, 2007
EL PASO, Texas - The Miners will face SMU and Tulsa in a two-match home series this weekend...the Miners are looking to snap a seven-match losing skid, the longest since last season...the Miners are seeking their first conference win of 2007.
SERIES VS. OPPONENTS... SMU holds a 5-13 series lead on the Miners taking 40 of 67 games...SMU defeated the Miners twice in 2006, including a five-gamer in Memorial Gym...UTEP leads the Golden Hurricane 27-13, 85-61 in games...Tulsa and UTEP began their series back in 1983...they took a break from competition from 1993-95 before playing as Western Athletic Conference foes in 1996 but only for that season...they battled in 1997, took another break in 1998 and in 1999, Tulsa rejoined UTEP in WAC play...in 2005, Tulsa, SMU and UTEP left the WAC and joined Conference USA.
SCOUTING SMU... The SMU Volleyball team is 10-6 entering the weekend's match-ups with UTEP and Tulane...four of SMU's six losses have been to teams who played in the 2006 NCAA Tournament...the Mustangs are led by senior outside hitter Rachel Giubilato who is currently ranked 17th in the country in kills per game, with 4.87...she leads the Mustangs, pounding 219 kills while contributing 156 (3.39 pg) digs, 25 blocks and 13 aces...SMU's Candice Davis is C-USA's digs leader in league-only games averaging 6.33 per game.
Tulsa opened its conference series with a split, taking East Carolina in five then falling to Marshall 3-1...Julia Silva leads the Golden Hurricane...named Conference USA Setter of the Week three times in 2007, her 11th overall honor, the senior setter from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil has recorded double-doubles in 15 of TU's 17 matches.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SMU... Amy Sanders pounded a team-high 15 kills and recorded a career-high 20 digs in UTEP's 3-1 (30-24, 24-30, 18-30, 21-30) loss to SMU at Moody Coliseum...Casey McAnelly was the only other Miner to hit in double figures, hammering 13 kills...Christie Murphy registered 16 digs and Elsa Reyes had 13. with 16 digs.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST TULSA... Casey McAnelly led the Miners with 17 kills and Amy Sanders and Keisha Hyman-Gifth recorded 16 and 11 kills, respectively in UTEP's 3-1 loss at Tulsa...Sanders also contributed 16 digs while Hyman-Gifth put up a team-high seven blocks for the match...Aidan Mooney contributed five blocks (one solo) and had four kills....defensively, Catherine Chavez, Katie Smith and Elsa Reyes each posted 18 digs for the match.
THE COMMONS... SMU's assistant coach Sean Kiracofe was a former UTEP volleyball assistant coach...Kiracofe was at UTEP just one season - 2002...Kiracofe was an assistant under head coach Scott Swanson.
UTEP AT A GLANCE... The Miners are paced by outside hitter Amy Sanders, who leads the Miners in kills, kills per game, aces and points...sophomore middle, Aidan Mooney, has been a force on the defensive end, posting 37 blocks while averaging 1.17 per game...UTEP's all-time single season leader, Elsa Reyes, has recorded 183 digs so far while leading the team and league in digs per game with 3.66.
LAST WEEK IN MINERVILLE... The Miners went 0-2 last week, falling to Memphis at home (3-0) and then to UAB in Birmingham (3-1)...the Miners are still looking for their first conference win, the last which came on Nov. 3, 2006 at UCF.
UTEP IN CONFERENCE USA... Three Miners have earned themselves a spot on C-USA's overall leaderboard...Keisha Hyman-Gifth and Amy Sanders rate third in hitting efficiency (.373) and aces per game (.64), respectively...Aidan Mooney is fourth in blocks per game (1.17)...in league-only matches, Mooney is second in blocks per game, averaging 1.64.
UTEP NATIONALLY... Amy Sanders and Keisha Hyman-Gifth are in the national ranks...Sanders bounced from 48th nationally in aces per game to 27th, averaging .64, after combining for six aces last weekend...Hyman-Gifth rates 51st in the nation in hitting percentage with 373...as a team, the Miners are 39th in aces per game, averaging 2.16.
ABOUT TO SNAP... The Miners are looking to snap a seven-match losing streak...after going 0-3 at the Portland Nike Invitational, the Miners fell to I-10 rival New Mexico State and followed three consecutive conference losses to Tulane, Memphis and UAB...the Miners opened the 2007 slate with two three-match win streaks...the last streak came at the Texas Southern Volleyball Tournament in Houston, Texas where the Miners took the title after going a flawless 3-0.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME... The Miners have totaled 3,363 fans so far this season...the Miners are averaging 560 fans at home per match...in 2006, the Miners averaged 460 fans per match to lead Conference USA...the Miners ranked second in the league in total attendance in 2006, posting 5,513 fans at home...this season, the Miners have registered three matches over the 500 mark - vs. North Dakota State (819), Tulane (568) and Memphis (602).
SANDERS SHINES... Amy Sanders has pounded 182 kills while averaging 3.64 per game, the only Miner to post three or more digs per game...UTEP's leader in kills, kills per game, service aces and points...posted double-figure kills in all but three matches (11 total)...punded two 20+ kill performances vs. Texas-Pan American and Portland State...six matches in double-digit digs including 20 vs. PSU...landed a career-high six aces agasint Texas Southern and leads UTEP with 32...rates 27th nationally in aces per game with .64.
OVER THE MOON-EY... Aidan Mooney posted a career-high 14 kills against Tulane...previous best was six - on four different occasions...Mooney led the Miners in hitting percentage against the Green Wave with .393, her second highest average of her career...best came earlier in the season against Prairie View A&M where she hit .625 (6-1-8) for the match...Mooney currently leads the Miners in blocks per game, averaging 1.17, while tallying 34 total (4 solo, 30 assist)...in 2007, Mooney has chipped in 42 kills, four aces and 14 digs for a total of 65 points.
ELSA'S INCHES... Standing at just 5-2, Elsa Reyes is a giant threat in the backcourt...Reyes leads the Miners in digs, having posted 183 (3.66 pg) in 2007...she has totaled 960 for her career, just 40 shy of 1,000...Reyes needs just 153 digs to place her name on UTEP's career digs list and 409 to break UTEP's all-time career record of 1,368 set by Jennifer Abbruzzese in 2003...Reyes holds two digs records - season total digs (632) and season digs per game (5.14) set in 2006.
All-Tournament This Season... Amy Sanders, Catherine Chavez, Keisha Hyman-Gifth, Patty Jarmoc and Elsa Reyes have all earned all-tournament selections during the 2007 campaign...Chavez and Sanders have each received honor twice this season - Chavez and Sanders both were named to the Sun Bowl Invitational All-Tournament team...Chavez was also named a selection at the Texas Southern Tournament...Hyman-Gifth is the only player in the Orange and Blue to receive MVP honors and Elsa Reyes received Most Outstanding Defensive Specialist, both at Texas Southern...Sanders was an all-tournament selection at the Nike Portland Volleyball Invite and Jarmoc was named to TSU's all-tourney team.
WHAT'S IN A NAME... Two coaches share the same sir name with two of their players...head coach Ken Murphy and junior OH Christie Murphy share the same last name as do assistant coach Angela Mooney and freshman-redshirt MB Aidan Mooney...none of them are related...there are two Jennifer's on the 2007 squad...Jennifer Kubitz and Jennifer Nolasco both are defensive specialists...Kubitz goes by Jenna and Noalsco goes by Jenny.
THE NATIVES... The Miners have six natives on the roster this season - Irma Blanco, Catherine Chavez, Jenna Kubitz, Jennifer Nolasco, Elsa Reyes and Amy Sanders...it is the most from the Sun City since the 1996 season when the Miners had five natives. Chavez, Kubitz and Reyes played for the Eastwood Troopers while Blanco, Nolasco and Sanders are from Bel Air, Horizon and Burges, respectively...two are freshman (Nolasco and Kubitz), three are sophomores (Blanco, Chavez and Sanders) and Reyes enters her junior season as UTEP's libero...Chavez, Kubitz, Nolaso, Reyes and Sanders all played for the club team - Sun Spots - coached by UTEP assistant, Angela Mooney.
OH CANADA... Aidan Mooney and Patty Jarmoc are Canadian natives...the Miners have not had a northern neighbor on the team since Krystal Gabriel during the 2003 season...Gabriel, a setter, left after just one season with the Miners.
Miners In C-USA... The Miners are headed into the third season as a Conference USA member...the Miners joined C-USA in 2005 after 14 seasons in the Western Athletic Conference...the Miners are 12-20 in league play after two seasons...the Miners capped off the 2005 inaugural slate 10-6 and posted a 2-14 record last season.