Miners to Tangle with Tulane Sunday


Oct. 25, 2012


The Last Meeting
September 13, 2012
New Orleans, La.
UTEP Falls Short Against Tulane
The UTEP volleyball team dropped their first Conference USA match to Tulane, 3-1 on Thursday.

The UTEP volleyball team will continue its homestand against Tulane at 12 p.m. on Sunday. The Miners (12-11, 6-5 C-USA), will be squaring off for the second time this year versus the Green Wave (12-11, 6-5 C-USA).

All fans that wear pink to the Tulane match-up will receive free admission.
The trio of Jeane Horton, Xitlali Herrera and Malia Patterson has led the team this season. Horton recorded her third 20 or more kill performance with 23 posted against Rice  (10/21) last weekend. Herrera earned her sixth double-double of the season, as she registered a career-best 19 digs and added 13 kills versus the Owls. Patterson also tallied a double-double against the Owls with 52 assists and 11 digs.

Tulane Scouting Report
Series: The Green Wave hold an 11-3 record over the Miners since their first meeting in 2005. The last time the teams met, UTEP dropped the match versus Tulane, 3-1 (9/13) to open Conference USA play. In that meeting, Jeane Horton produced 16 kills and three block assists, while Taylor Nix hammered 10 kills and added three blocks (2s/1a).
Green Wave Notables
Tulane goes into the Sunday meeting with a 5-17 record, including a 3-8 Conference USA record. Cori Martone, who has collected 282 kills during her 2012 campaign, leads the Green Wave. The junior is ranked sixth in C-USA in kills per set (3.66) and can also serve some points checking in at the No. 6 spot for aces (0.30). Martone registered 14 kills in her last performance alone, helping the Green Wave snap a five-match losing streak with a 3-1 win over Houston (10/21). Sophomore Olivia Utt protects the frontcourt for Tulane having already tallied 84 blocks (12s/72a). Additionally, she has earned the 10th spot in the conference rankings for blocks per set (0.97).

Miners in the Rankings
The Miners are among the best in Conference USA statistically, placing second in blocks per set (2.39) and hitting percentage (.237), while ranking third in assists per set (12.21) and kills per set (13.28). The squad has collected an impressive 1129 kills, 1038 assists, 203 blocks (46s/314a) and 85 aces.

Nationally, UTEP is ranked in the top 70 in two categories; hitting percentage (61st), and blocks per set (70th). The Miners also check in 95th in kills per set.

Better Late then Never
UTEP stumbled out of the gates at home (0-3) but has come on strong since. The Miners are 5-1 since including a victory against NM State (9/26). It was the first time since 2001 that the Miners proved to be victorious against the Aggies at Memorial Gym. UTEP has also defeated Southern Miss (9/23), UAB (9/28), Memphis (9/30) and Houston (10/19). In those five victories, UTEP has a 15-4 set advantage.

Horton on Track for Huge Season
Jeane Horton has already hammered 362 kills this season, just 18 fewer than her 2011 campaign. If she can maintain her current pace, she would finish second all time at UTEP in kills in a single campaign.

The outside hitter is one of three Conference USA players ranked in the top 30 in the nation for kills per set. The junior is tied for 28th in the nation averaging 4.26 kills per set. The Fresno, Calif., native is one of the two players to rank in the top 10 in conference in hitting percentage (.306-9th) and kills per set (2nd).

Patterson Powers
Malia Patterson has shown to be a force not only as a setter but her defensive strives have proven to be effective as well in 2012. The junior has executed eight double-doubles this season, most recently posting 52 assists and 11 digs against Rice (10/21). The setter continues to maintain the No. 2 spot in the conference rankings for assists per set (10.68). The junior has tallied 12 service aces surpassing her mark from last season where she posted five. Patterson can also protect the net as she adds 39 block assists, breaking her 2011 season record of 30. The setter just passed the 200 dig barrier (201).
C-USA Taking Notice
UTEP has earned five Conference USA Athlete of the Week honors this season. Xitlali Herrera is the only individual to earn both of the league’s defensive award (9/10) and offensive award (10/1). The middle blocker has had a stellar season as she recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs against I-10 rival NM State (9/26). The junior also led the team past Houston (10/7), as she pounded nine kills, 11 digs, two block assists and hit a .300 clip.

Malia Patterson has been recognized by the league twice this season receiving C-USA setter of the week honors (9/24 & 10/1). The junior contributed 56 assists and eight digs versus the Aggies. Patterson tallied 35 assists, nine digs, two block assists and two kills versus the Cougars.

Jeane Horton was named offensive player of the week (9/24) leading the Miners’ attack with a match-high 21 kills on 30 attempts with only two errors as UTEP defeated Southern Miss (9/23).

Juniors Leaving Their Mark
Juniors Xitlali Herrera and Jeane Horton have dented the UTEP recordbook this season.

Herrera continues to leave her mark in the school annals. The middle blocker earned the fourth all-time spot in the recordbook in hitting efficiency in three sets as she registered a .647 hitting percentage against UAB (9/28). Previously, the Mexican native also posted 16 kills on 24 attacks with three errors versus Southern Miss (9/23). She recorded a .542 efficiency to rate fourth all time for hitting percentage in four sets.

Also checking in the category is Horton, who hammered 21 kills on 30 attempts with only two errors against the Golden Eagles. The outside hitter registered a .633 percentage to rank second in the classification.

The X-Factor
Xitlali Herrera is an all around player, earning spots in three categories in Conference USA only matches rankings. The junior is ranked third in blocks (1.15), fifth in hitting percentage (.327), 11th in kills (3.20). The middle blocker has contributed six double-doubles this season for the Miners, most recently thanks to a career-high 19 digs and 13 kills versus the Owls (10/21). Herrera ranks second on the team in five categories; kills (260), hitting percentage (.303), blocks 86 (13s/73a), digs (225) and service aces (16). She is coming off a solid weekend. The middle blocker compiled 21 kills, nine blocks (1s/8a) and 28 digs against Houston (10/19) and Rice.

Burruel for the Block
Cassandra Burruel is on a tear in 2012. The senior has crushed her 2011 block total (24) by registering 97 thus far. The senior checks in at No. 3 in Conference USA in blocks per set 1.14. The middle blocker has posted two double-digit block efforts this season with 10 against Fresno State (8/24) and Southern Miss (9/23). Burruel has tallied a total of 139 kills and registered a .254 this season.

Can’t Get Through Here
UTEP’s frontcourt is dominating defensively through 23 matches in 2012. The squad is ranked second in blocks per set in Conference USA and 70th nationally (2.39). Senior Cassandra Burruel is ranked third in the league and 94th nationally averaging 1.14 blocks per set, while Xitlali Herrera checks is sixth at 1.01. The Miners are the only team with two individuals in the top six in the league’s block rankings. The Orange and Blue are known for defensive prowess. Since Ken Murphy’s arrival, the Miners have averaged 2.26 blocks per frame compared with 1.9 in the five years prior. Additionally, UTEP has strung together three straight top-80 finishes nationally.

Valencia Digs it Away
Victoria Valencia  leads the Miners’ defense with a total of 306 digs this season. Her effort surpasses her 2011 season dig total of 229. The libero is averaging 3.60 per set to check in at 10th in the Conference USA performance list. The junior has been effective at the service line with a team-high 19 aces. 



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