Miners Take the Show on the Road

Malia Patterson

Oct. 9, 2013

Match Notes Week 7 Get Acrobat Reader 

The UTEP volleyball team continues Conference USA play at Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m. (MT) on Friday in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Miners will then challenge southern Miss at 12 p.m. on Sunday in Hattiesburg, Miss.

UTEP went 2-0 this past weekend, defeating Florida Atlantic, 3-1 and FIU, 3-0. The Miners were led by Xitlali Herrera and Talia Jones, who both hammered out a 27 kills overall in the two matches.

Herrera garnered her sixth double-double against the Florida Atlantic Owls as she registered 17 kills, 12 digs and posted a .343 hitting percentage. Jones tallied 15 kills and two service aces. Setter Malia Patterson helped assemble the Miner’s attack, recording a match high 46 assists.

The trio continued to dominate for the Orange and Blue against FIU. Jones led UTEP’s attack with 12 kills, while Herrera delivered 10 kills, eight assists and six blocks (4s/2a). Patterson aided the offense with 39 assists.

UTEP is now 3-1 in Conference USA and 9-6 overall.  For live stats please visit: www.goblueraiders.com and www.southernmiss.com.

Middle Tennessee Scouting Report Series: It has been ten years since UTEP and Middle Tennessee faced off on the court. In 1993 the Miners beat the Blue Raiders in a 3-0 match.

Middle Tennessee currently holds a 10-6 record and 2-1 record in Conference USA ranking them seventh overall.

Blue Raider Notables

Leading Middle Tennessee is duo Tyler Richardson and Chelsea Ross.

Richardson leads the team with a .412 hitting percentage and is currently ranked first in Conference USA in the category. The middle blocker has also posted 73 blocks (4s/69a) this season ranking her second in the league.

Ross leads the team in kills with a season total 184 kills (3.12 per set). The outside hitter is ranked seventh in service aces, 17th in kills and 18th in points in league play.

Southern Miss Scouting Report Series: Last season UTEP beat the Golden Eagles, 3-1. Xitlali Herrera had a stellar showing posting a double-double with 16 kills, 13 digs and tallied six block assists. The middle blocker recorded the fourth-highest hitting efficiency in four sets with a .542 average.

Setter Malia Patterson put up a match-high 54 assists, nine digs and four block assists.

UTEP registered 61 kills, 58 assists, 51 digs, 16 team blocks (1s/30a) and recorded a .336 hitting percentage against Southern Miss.

Golden Eagle Notables

Leading southern Miss on the court is sophomore Quinci Hayward. The middle blocker recorded a match high 22 kills against Rice in southern Miss’s first league victory. The middle blocker has posted 265 kills, .239 hitting percentage, 22 blocks (9s/13a), and 18 digs this season. Hayward’s performance ranks her fourth in kills (4.02 per set) and seventh in points (4.25) in C-USA.

The Watts Era

Holly Watts is currently 3-1 in league play as UTEP’s head coach.

Watts, who played for Texas from 1989- 1993, brings 19 years of Division I coaching experience to the Miners, including lengthy stints at Arkansas (1996-2008) and Florida state University (2008-13), where she worked with head coach Chris Poole.

Together Poole and Watts were instrumental in producing thirteen 20-win seasons in 17 years, with 13 NCAA Tournament appearances during that span.

All-Tournament Honors

Adding to the Miners’ success this season were seniors Xitlali Herrera, Malia Patterson and Victoria Valencia as they earned a combined total of five all-Tournament Team honors.

Herrera made her way onto the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, UTEP Invitational, and Art Carmichael all- Tournament teams. The middle blocker was also selected to the 2013 Conference USA Preseason Volleyball team.

Patterson was named to the art Carmichael Invitational all-Tournament team as Valencia garnered a spot on the UTEP Invitational all- Tournament Team.

Setting Up For Success

In 2012, senior Malia Patterson totaled 1,177 assists for the Miners, and in 2013 she has proven that she will continue to her dominance on the court.

The senior has registered a total 548 assists including a season high of 55 against Oral Roberts (9/6).

This past week, Patterson secured 85 assists in UTEP’s back-to-back wins against FAU and FIU. She is ranked sixth in Conference USA for assists (9.02 per set).

Patterson has captured 529 assists this season placing her 75th in the nation.

Herrera For the Kill

Xitlali Herrera has established herself not only as a leader on the team but also in the league. She ranks among the top players in three conference categories.

The senior hammered out 27 kills this past weekend, ranking her third in Conference USA in points (4.64 per set) and sixth in kills (3.98) per set. The middle blocker has posted 210 kills this season and has generated 142 digs and 51 (13s/38a) blocks for the Miners this season. The senior is also ranked 16th in C-USA in hitting percentage.

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), and 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 guided the Miner defense with 192 digs since the start of the season. This past weekend the El Paso native delivered 18 digs, four assists and two service aces.

The senior registered a career-high 22 digs against Oral Roberts (9/6) and chipped in three assists and an ace. Valencia is ranked 14th in Conference USA, averaging 3.65 digs per set.

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

National Notice

Standout Xitlali Herrera’s all-around performance has not only garnered her attention in Conference USA, but nationally as well.

The veteran is ranked 32nd in the nation in kills. Herrera has posted 210 kills this season, averaging 4.10 per set. The senior is also ranked 27th in the nation in points per match. Herrera averages 4.80 points per set.

Last season, Herrera joined former UTEP outside hitter Michelle Stovall (1983 and 1984) as one of only two Miners in the program’s 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 AVCA all- Midwest Region First Team.

Newcomer Making Stats

In her first season with the Miners, transfer Dayana Acevedo is becoming a player to watch as her attention grabbing performance ranks her among the best in the league.

The junior has secured 13 service aces for the Miners, ranking her 14th in Conference USA. The defensive specialist has also delivered 127 digs for the Orange and Blue, including a season high 20 digs against La Tech.

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.

Stepping Up to the Net

Sophomore Talia Jones adds depth to the Orange and Blue as she consistently puts up stats for the Miners.

Jones is second on the team in kills as she has registered 171 this season including 27 in UTEP’s back-to-back wins against FAU and FIU. The outside hitter ranks 10th in the league as she averages 3.36 kills per set.

The sophomore also excels in service aces as she ranks 10th in Conference USA. Jones has delivered 14 aces, averaging 0.28 per set.

Jones performance also ranks her 12th in conference for points as she averages 3.80 per game.

Conference Ranking

The Conference USA Preseason Poll placed UTEP fifth out of 15 teams. Four games into league play, the Miners are currently in fourth place with a 3-1-league record.

Ranked in six categories in the league, UTEP stands in fourth place in hitting percentage (.235), fourth in kills (13.59), fifth in assists (12.51), ninth in service aces (1.18), ninth in blocks (2.03) and 10th in digs (14.47).

Record Breaker

Senior Victoria Valencia has dented the UTEP recordbook this season.

The Libero earned the first all-time spot in digs in three sets as she registered 38 digs against Oral Roberts (9/6). The El Paso native has since posted 192 digs.

The X-Factor

Xitlali Herrera has shown to be a force not only as a middle blocker but her offensive strides have proven to be effective as well in 2013.

The senior has executed six double-doubles this season. Herrera leads the team as she ranks in kills, hitting percentage, and points in league play and nationally. She has posted 221 kills, 147 digs, and 52 blocks (13s/39a).

Senior Standouts

The 2013 season will be one for the seniors as four veterans return for their final year 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 led 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 including 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 record book for hitting percentage in three sets (.647-4th), hitting percentage in four sets (.556-3rd) and five sets (.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 became the second Miner in program history to earn back-to-back all- C-USA First Team honors and be named to  



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