Volleyball Returns Home to Face ECU, Marshall

S. Figueroa

Nov. 9, 2011


The UTEP volleyball team (17-11, 7-8) will be taking on East Carolina (0-15, 2-22) on Friday, Nov. 11  at 7 p.m. MDT. The Miners will take to the court again on Sunday, Nov. 13 to face Marshall (8-17, 7-8) at 12 p.m. MDT for the second time this season.

The Miners are looking to bounce back from a pair of road losses against UAB. Xitlali Herrera lead the squad recording her 11th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 13 digs against the Blazers on Sunday.

Both match-ups will be broadcast live via gametracker at www.utepathletics.com. Fans can also access live video through UTEP’s All-Access channel for a small fee.

It is “Greek Night” and “Civil Servant Night” at UTEP’s match against East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. All civil servants get in free. Tickets are on sale at the UTEP ticket  center, and they may also be purchased on site prior to the start of the contest. The price is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

UTEP will face Marshall on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. (MDT) in Memorial Gym.

Series: The Miners lead the series 7-3 after meeting for the first time in 2005, UTEP’s first season in    Conference USA. UTEP has faced the Pirates seven    times    in regular    season and twice in the league’s championship tournament, with UTEP winning both contests. Of the regular season meetings, six have been in North Carolina.

Jeane Horton hammered a team-best 11 kills and hit a .233 clip as the UTEP volleyball team powered past East Carolina 3-0 (25-23, 25-23 and 25-14) on Oct. 2, 2011 in Greenville, N.C.

Xitlali Herrera had an outstanding performance, posting a match-high six blocks. Herrera also registered 10 kills, 11 digs and a .217 hitting percentage.

Stephanie Figueroa also chipped in a stellar defensive performance, posting 17 digs for the match.

East Carolina enters the weekend having dropped its last 19 matches.

Senior Britney Roper leads the team with 164 kills and leads the squad in service aces with 23. Roper is ranked fifth in C-USA averaging .30 service aces per set.

Defensively, Shelby Beasley paces the Pirates with 279 dig and ranks 11th in the league in digs with 3.67 per set.

Running the offense is freshman Zarah Cecich, who has dished out 380 assists for a 5.43 average.

Series: Marshall holds the series advantage 6-4. The two teams first met on Sept. 5, 1997 at the UMKC Invitational.

Jeane Horton posted a career-high 20 kills and recorded a .304 hitting percentage to lead the UTEP volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 26-24) victory over Marshall on Sept. 30, 2011 in Huntington, W.Va.
The Miners improve to 12-5 and 2-2 in Conference USA while the Thundering Herd move to 2-12 and 1-3 in league action.  

Horton played a large part in the Miners’ assault, as she produced five blocks (2s/3a). Xitlali Herrera also chipped in a stellar performance, posting a double-double with 12 kills, 17 digs and adding five blocks, while Bridget Logan tallied 11 kills.
Malia Patterson dished out 46 assists and also contributed 12 digs and two blocks.

Leading the Miners defense was Stephanie Figueroa with 18 digs.

Marshall is coming off a split in back-to-back matches against Houston this past weekend.

Cameron Yoho posted a career-high 20 kills against the Cougars on Sunday.

Laura Der collected 10 kills and only had one error in the five sets, giving her a personal season-high .429 hitting percentage. Der finished with her second double-double of the season with 11 digs.

Sammie Bane also recorded a double-double after tallying a career-tying 56 assists and 15 digs. It is her ninth double-double of the season. The freshman is ranked seventh in C-USA in assists with 9.81 per set.

On defense, Milligan totaled a team-high 21 digs against Houston and ranks 12th in C-USA in digs averaging 3.52 per set.

UTEP holds national top-100 statistical rankings in kills per set (87th, 13.2), assists per set (95th, 12.23) hitting percentage (86th, 0.224) and blocks per set (72nd, 2.33).

Individually, senior Stephanie Figueroa is 50th in aces per set (0.39) and 74th in digs per set (4.71); sophomore Herrera is 51st in blocks per set (1.18) and 91st in  hitting percentage (0.332); sophomore  Malia Patterson is 85th in assists per set (10.28).

The Miners have been successful this season with a 17-9 overall record. This marks the best record in the Ken Murphy era. The last time the Miners accomplished the feat came in 2005 when they were 19-9 under former head coach Scott Swanson. The squad has compiled an impressive 1373 kills, 1272 assists and 129 service aces this season. The Miners have already left their mark in the UTEP recordbooks ranking fourth in season block assists with 400 and counting.

   464    3.80    1993
    455    4.09    2010
    454    4.37    2009
    400    3.85    2011
    398    4.06    1994

The Miners have shown resilience in 2011, having played seven five-set matches this campaign. Most recently, the Miners bounced back from a 2-1 set deficit to capture the final two frames in UTEP’s win against Houston a week ago. The squad is 5-2 overall when pushing the match to five sets. The Miners are 1-2 versus non-conference opponents (W-Jacksonville, L- Baylor and Mississippi State) and are a perfect 4-0 against league opponents. The last time the Miners have been successful in five-set matches was in 1997 when the team went 5-1 in five-set matchups under former head coach Norm Brandl.

Xitlali Herrera has become the “net factor” in blocks for the Miners. UTEP has always been a force at the net, ranking in the top-75 nationally over the past three seasons. However, Herrera has proven herself, ranking first on the team, fourth in Conference USA and 51st nationally in blocks per set, averaging 1.18. The sophomore transfer posted a career-high 12 blocks (2s/10a) against SMU. Herrera has already put up 123 total blocks (11s/112a) this season. Herrera is the only Miner to average over one block per set.

Xitlali Herrera has left a mark on UTEP’s season assists block charts. The sophomore ranks fourth among UTEP’s all-time block assists leaders with 112 and counting. Herrera surpassed Cynthia Rueles-Macias record of 111 that has been held since 1996. Macias holds the top-two spots with a season-best of 122 in 1993 and 1997.

122    Cynthia Ruelas-Macias    1997
           Cynthia Ruelas-Macias    1993
112    Xitlali Herrera                       2011
111    Cynthia Ruelas-Macias    1996
109    Cynthia Ruelas-Macias    1994
103    Jacqui Nosan                        2000

Herrera posted a career-high 20 kills against Houston (10/30) and registered a .432 hitting percentage. Herrera’s performance against Tulane (10/23)  earned her a spot on the UTEP recordbooks with a .478 hitting efficiency (12-1-23). The sophomore ranks fifth in program history in hitting percentage in five sets. The Mexican native continues to climb the leagues leaderboard ranking eighth in kills with 3.24 per set and holds the top spot for the Miners with a total of 337 kills this season. Herrera ranks 91st in the nation and fifth in C-USA for attack percentage with .332.

The sophomore not only is good at defending the net, but she can also defend the backcourt. Herrera recorded 13 digs against the Blazers. She has registered 11th double-doubles this season. Herrera ranks second on the team with 260 digs while averaging 2.50 digs per set.

Stephanie Figueroa has climbed back on the digs leaderboard leading the Miners with a total of 490 digs and has only had 10 serve recieve errors out of 585 total attempts registering a .983 percentage this season. Figueroa is averaging 4.71 digs per set besting her 2010 campaign of 4.29 digs per set. The senior has had 25 matches in double-digit figures out of 28 matches this season. Figueroa tallied a match-high 29 digs against UAB this past weekend. The Miners are ranked seventh in C-USA averaging 15.35 digs per set.

The senior has registered a season total of 490 digs and has broken her mark set a year ago. Elsa Reyes holds the top spot on the chart with a season-best of 632 digs set in 2006. Figueroa holds the third highest season mark.

632    Elsa Reyes                    2006
540    Brittany Stowers         2005
490    Stephanie Figueroa    2011
476    Stephanie Figueroa    2010

Not only is Figueroa protecting the backcourt, but the libero knows how to serve up some points for the Miners too. Figueroa leads UTEP in aces with 41 through 28 matches played. The feat ranks 50th nationally, first on the team and first in Conference USA standings with .39 aces per set. The mark also surpasses her total career aces at UTEP, having only mastered 15 aces in 2010. The Puerto Rican native needs two aces to rank in the Miners’ recordbooks, a goal she can reach with five matches still to play.

Season Total Service Aces
51    Catherine Porter    1996
49    Chris Brandl            1989
46    Amy Sanders          2007
44    Amy Sanders          2008
        Jaymie Swift            2005
       Catherine Porter     1997
43   Kari Stacy                 2005
       Chris Brandl             1988

On the verge
41    Stephanie Figueroa    2011

Sophomore Jeane Horton saw significant action a season ago, blasting 198 kills and posting a team-best 102 total blocks (7s/95a). Horton averaged 1.04 blocks per set and was named a Conference USA All-Freshman selection. The sophomore had a stellar performance against Houston (10/31) hammering a career-high 25 kills and averaging a .316 hitting percentage. The Fresno, Calif. native has surpassed her season record from last year compiling 324 kills and is ranked second on team for kills. Horton continues to move up the charts ranking 13th in C-USA in kills with 3.24 per set. The sophomore has posted three 20 or more kill performance this season.

Sophomores Jeane Horton and Xitlali Herrera have proven to be a threat on the court. The pair has left their mark in the UTEP recordbooks for their performances against Tulane (10/23). Horton recorded a team-best 22 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Teammate Herrera also had a outstanding performance with a double-double posting 12 kills with only one error earning her a spot in the recordbooks with a .478 hitting percentage. Herrera leads the Miners in kills with 337 and Horton is closely behind her with 324 kills.

FIVE SETS (Minimum 10 kills)
Pct.       K-E-A            Player             Opponent     Date
.556    22-2-36    Jacqui Nosan            Rice          2000
.526    12-2-19    Irma Blanco              Tulsa         2009
.500    22-3-38    Jeane Horton           Tulane       2011
.483    16-2-29    Xitlali Herrera      Memphis      2011
.478    12-1-23    Xitlali Herrera         Tulane        2011
.462    18-0-39    Xitlali Herrera    Jacksonville    2011

Sophomore setter, Malia Patterson recorded a career-high 63 assists against the Cougars (10/31). The Hawaiian native has totalled 1,070 assists and ranks sixth in conference and has moved up to rank 85th nationally averaging 10.28 assists per set. Patterson in on the verge to earn a spot in the UTEP recordbooks for season total assists. Krista Gronert (1999) holds the fifth spot with 1,111 assists and Katie Smith is first with 1,356 total assits set in 2006.  

Season Total Assists
1,356    Katie Smith            2006
1,282    Chris Brandl           1991
1,145    Veronica Acosta    1997
1,112    Patty Jarmoc          2008
1,111    Krista Gronert        1999

On the verge
1,070    Malia Patterson    2011

Patterson has surpassed her 2010 season record of 310 assists posting 1,070 this season. After 28 matches the Miners have broken last year’s assists season record of 1,214 having tallying 1,272 assists this season. The Miners average 12.2 assists per set besting last seasons average of 10.94 assists per set.

Senior libero Stephanie Figueroa, registered a career-high 31 digs against Baylor earning her a spot in UTEP’s 30-dig club. She became just the ninth Miner since 2009 to register 30 or more digs in a match. Nancy Woo holds the top spot with 37 digs against NMSU on Sept. 21, 1993. The Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico native dominates defensively averaging 4.71 digs per set and ranks 74th nationally and fifth in the league for digs.  



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