Miners Continue on the Road
Nov. 9, 2013
The UTEP volleyball team will continue on the road as the Miners travel to Denton, Texas to face off against UNT at 12 p.m. (MT) on Sunday before taking on I-10 rival NM state in Las Cruces at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Last week UTEP (13-10 overall, 6-5 C-USA) split on the road as the Miners beat Marshall, 3-2 but fell short against Charlotte, 1-3.
Xitlali Herrera led the Miners against Marshall as she captured a match-high 18 kills and 17 digs, while fellow senior Malia Patterson posted her third double-double of the season with 45 assists and 13 digs. Libero Victoria Valencia also secured her second match of the season with over 20 digs.
Against Charlotte, the Orange and Blue was led by Herrera as she posted her eighth double-double of the season with 26 kills and 14 digs. Patterson aided the Miners’ offense recording 44 assists.
For live stats please visit: www.meangreensports.com and www. nmstatesports.com
UNT Scouting Report
Series: This will be the first match up between the squads. UNT is currently ranked fourth in Conference Usa.
Mean Green Notables
Leading the way for the UNT is Carnae Dillard. The outside hitter has tallied 394 kills, 311 digs, 35 blocks, 27 assists, and 17 service aces. Only a sophomore she has complied 875 career kills.
NM State Scouting Report Series: Last season the Miners won their first match against NM State at home since 2001. The teams battled to five sets before UTEP finished off the Aggies 3-2. Xitlali Herrera posted a stellar showing recording a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs and hit a .414 average. Setter Malia Patterson registered a match-high 56 assists and added eight digs and one block assists.
This season the aggies have won 12 of the last 15 matches and are currently in first place in the WAC. NM state leads the league in hitting percentage at .267 while also topping the league in opponent hitting percentage holding their opponents to .187 in 12 matches played. NM State also leads the WAC in blocks with 3.02 per set.
Leading NM state’s efforts on the court are Taylor Livoti, Bradley Nash and Lauren Loerch. Together the hold 18 double-doubles this season. Livoti has the most with nine, while Nash has five and Loerch has four. The first double-double of the season came on Aug. 31 against Santa Barbara when Livoti marked 22 assists and 12 digs. Both Loerch and Nash marked a double-double in the five set at Bakersfield, Oct.17, while Loerch followed that with a double-double in a three-set loss at Utah Valley. Livoti has the most recent double- double as she tallied 28 assists and 13 digs in Moscow, Idaho, Oct. 31 during a 3-1 win.
The Watts Era
Holly Watts is currently 6-5 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 eighth in hitting percentage (.211), kills (13.52), service aces (1.20), assists (12.45), and digs (14.74) and 11th in blocks (132.5). The squad has compiled an impressive 1,064 kills, 977 assists, 144.5 blocks (47s/195a) and 95 service aces.
Nationally, UTEP is ranked 94th in kills per set with Herrera leading the pack with 341kills.
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.
Xitlali Herrera is known for being a force at the net. The senior leads the frontcourt with 341 kills and is ranked fifth 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 250 this season including a season high 18 kills against Louisiana Tech (9/27) in UTEP’s Conference USA opener.
The sophomore also excels in service aces as she ranks fourth in C-USA. Jones has delivered 26 aces, averaging 0.34 per Set including a season best against Texas southern (9/7).
Jones performance also ranks her 18th in the league for points as she averages 3.63 per game. The outside hitter pounded a stellar 16 kills posting a .300 hitting percentage against UAB (10/25).
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 303 digs, averaging 3.84 per set. Valencia is ranked 16th in Conference USA for digs.
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 821 assists including a season high of 55 against Oral Roberts (9/6). She is ranked seventh in Conference USA for assists (10.26 per set). The setter has already climbed up the UTEP recordbook tying for fourth in program history with a career total of 3,538 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 eight 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 341 kills, 22 assists, and nine service aces. Defensively, Herrera has already secured 72 blocks (18s/54a) this season, bringing her career total to 305 (42s/263a). 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 Orange and Blue, Herrera has become the 10th Miner in program history to join the 1,000-kill club. The senior has registered an outstanding 1,058 kills in only three years with UTEP.
The middle blocker is an all-around player that has already captured 341 kills in only 23 matches. The senior has also tallied eight double-doubles this season for the Miners.
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.