MINERS
UTEP Volleyball Continues on the Road

Talia Jones


Talia Jones

Oct. 30, 2013

Match Notes Week 9 Get Acrobat Reader 

The UTEP volleyball team will start a four-match road swing as they face off against Marshall at 5 p.m. (MT) on Friday and Charlotte at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

UTEP (12-9, 5-4) closed a week of home matches with back-to-back losses to UAB, 3-1, and UTSA, 3-0.

Talia Jones led the Miners against UAB as she captured a match high 16 kills with only four errors. The sophomore added six digs and two service aces. Xitlali Herrera followed with 10 kills as Malia Patterson aided the Miner offense with 42 assists.

Against UTSA the Orange and Blue was led by Herrera who posted 13 kills with only four errors. The senior also posted eight digs and a service ace. Lindsey Larson followed with eight kills and only one error garnering her a career high hitting percentage of .538. Malia Patterson aided the Miner offense with 29 assists.

For live stats please visit: www.herdzone.com and www. charlotte49ers.com.

Marshall Scouting Report

Series: The match will be the 13th meeting between UTEP and Marshall. The Thundering herd holds a 7-5 lead in the series. Last season, Xitlali Herrera, who posted three block assists, nine digs and five kills versus Marshall. Setter Malia Patterson recorded 32 assists and seven digs while Victoria Valencia tallied 11 digs. However, it was not enough to overcome the Thundering herd as Marshall swept UTEP,3-0.

Thundering Herd Notables

Marshall currently ranks fourth in Conference USA. Leading the way for the Thundering herd is Dorothy Rahal. The libero tallied a career-high 31 digs in a 3-1 victory over Charlotte (10/26). Rahal’s 31 digs was the most by a Marshall player since the NCAA went to a 25-point set rule in 2008. It was also the ninth most digs ever recorded by a Marshall player. She also recorded a perfect serve receive percentage on 33 total attempts. She hasn’t been aced against since Marshall’s match against Louisiana Tech (10/6).

Charlotte Scouting Report

Series: This will be the first meeting between the two squads. The 49ners are currently last in Conference USA as they hold a 10-14 overall record and 0-9 in league play.

49ner Notables

Leading Charlotte’s efforts on the court are sophomores Britney Held and Michelle Hovey. Held has posted 908 assists this season as she ranks fifth in Conference USA. Securing Charlotte’s defense, Hovey has delivered 434 digs, ranking her second in the league.

The Watts Era

Holly Watts is currently 5-4 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.

Miners in the Rankings

The Conference USA Preseason Poll placed UTEP fifth out of 15 teams.

More than half way through conference play, the Miners are currently in seventh place with a 5-4-league record. UTEP is currently ranked fifth in hitting percentage (.228), sixth in kills (13.52), seventh in service aces (1.20), eighth in assists (12.45), 11th in blocks (132.5) and 12th in digs (14.28). The squad has compiled an impressive 960 kills, 884 assists, 131.5 blocks (44s/175a) and 85 aces.

Nationally, UTEP is ranked 68th in kills per set with Herrera leading the pack with 297kills.

Larson Locks in Points

Redshirt freshman, Lindsey Larson captured a career high .538 hitting percentage in UTEP’s match against UTSA (10/27) as she hammered out 8 kills with only one error. Larson also posted two assists and digs, and one block assist. The setter fired up the Miners’ score with 8.5 points. This season, Larson has secured 99 kills, 59 digs, 40 assists, 37 blocks (1s/36a), and four service aces.

C-USA Taking Notice

Xitlali Herrera is the only Miner to earn a Conference USA Player of the Week honor. The veteran earned the leagues offensive award (10/22) after leading UTEP to a 3-0 win over Rice. Herrera hammered out 12 kills with only one error, securing her a .611 hitting percentage. The middle blocker also posted eight digs and two block assists.

The X-Factor

Xitlali Herrera is known for being a force at the net. The senior leads the front court with 297 kills and is ranked fourth in Conference USA.

The senior’s execution in kills has also garnered her NCAA recognition as she ranks 26th in the nation in kills per set (4.25).

The middle blocker tied for the top spot in the UTEP recordbooks in kills in three sets. Herrera hammered a career high 24 kills against Oral Roberts 9/26. Herrera sits next to Catherine Porter (1999) in the category with 24 kills posted against Rice.

Talia Tallies Success

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 with 223 this season including a season high 18 kills against Louisiana Tech (9/27) in UTEP’s Conference USA opener. The outside hitter ranks 15th in kills in the league as she averages 3.14 per set.

The sophomore also excels in service aces as she ranks third in C-USA. Jones has delivered 24 aces, averaging 0.34 per set including a season best against Texas southern (9/7).

Jones performance also ranks her 17th in the league for points as she averages 3.61 per game. The outside hitter pounded a stellar 16 kills posting a .300 hitting percentage against UAB (10/25).

Record Breaker

Senior Victoria Valencia has dented the UTEP recordbook this season.

The Libero earned the top UTEP individual 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 262 digs, averaging 3.74 per set. Valencia is ranked 15th in Conference USA for digs.

Patterson Powers

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 731 assists including a season high of 55 against Oral Roberts (9/6).

she is ranked eighth in Conference USA for assists (9.90 per set). The setter has already climbed up the UTEP recordbook tying for fourth in program history with a career total of 3,386 assists. Chris Brandl (88-91) rates first with 4,210.

Herrera on Track for Huge Season

Xitlali Herrera has shown to be a force as she leads the Orange and Blue both defensively and offensively. 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 297 kills, 22 assists, and seven service aces. Defensively, Herrera has already secured 64 blocks (16s/48a) this season, bringing her career total to 297(40s/257a). If she can maintain her current pace, she would finish fourth all time at UTEP in career blocks.

Senior Leaving Her Mark

After only three seasons with the Miners, Herrera has registered an outstanding 964 kills. If the middle blocker continues at this pace she will become the 10th Miner in the 1,000 kill club.

The middle blocker is an all-around player that has already captured 297 kills in only 21 matches. The senior has also tallied six double-doubles this season for the Miners.

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. Earlier this season, the middle blocker was also selected to the 2013 Conference USA, Preseason Volleyball team after finishing the 2012 season as an aVCa All-American Honorable Mention.

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