Miners to Face Southern Miss at C-USA Championships

Malia Patterson, Xitlali Herrera

Nov. 20, 2013

After concluding the regular season, UTEP travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn., as the Miners battle it out against southern Miss in the first round of the Conference USA Championship Tournament. The squads are set to take the court at 11a.m. (MT) on Thursday. Middle Tennessee will serve as host of the tournament from Nov. 21 - 24 at the alumni Memorial Gym. For all updates on the tournament, visit www.conferenceusa.com/sports/w-volley.

UTEP (14-13 overall, 7-7 C-USA) closed out its last home match of 2013 with a win over East Carolina, 3-0, but not before falling to Tulsa, 2-3.

Senior Xitlali Herrera led the Miners against Tulsa as she posted a double-double with 27 kills and 12 digs, while Malia Patterson, also posting a double-double secured 48 assists and 18 digs. Talia Jones aided the offense as she hammered out 17 kills and only four errors. Libero Victoria Valencia delivered her third game of the season with 20 or more digs as she captured 28.

The Miners match versus East Carolina, Herrera captured her 11th double-double of the season with a match high 15 kills and 11 digs. The senior also contributed one solo block and three block assists to post 18.5 points for UTEP. Patterson added power to the Miner offense as she secured 45 assists.

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.



In that match back on Oct. 13 in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss’ team captured a three-set win over UTEP (25-17, 25-20, 25-19). Purdue led the Golden Eagles with a team-high 14 kills on .448 hitting as Crowell connected on 12 of her 28 swings to hit .393. Hayward pounded 11 kills. As a team, southern Miss attacked at a .289 clip.

Golden Eagle Notables

As a team, the Golden Eagles are averaging 13.62 kills, 12.99 assists, 14.47 digs and 1.78 blocks per set. Sophomore outside hitter Quinci hayward headlines the squad with 4.00 kills per set with Jasmine Crowell, Elise Ames and Mary Pursell paces the club with 4.94 digs per contest, and junior setter Kristen Fleming guides the team with 11.19 assists per outing.

Southern Miss is hitting .232 (1444-574-3753) on the season while allowing opponents to attack at a .230 clip (1400-544- 3716). The Golden eagle opponents are averaging 13.31 kills, 12.33 assists, 13.80 digs and 2.13 blocks per set.

UTSA Scouting Report Series: The Miners lead the series 21-11 against UTSA. Last season, Xitlali Herrera recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs. Victoria Valencia posted her second 20 or more dig performance with 20. Setter Malia Patterson compiled a match-best 34 assists.

The last time the squads met fell to UTSA, 3-0. Xitlali Herrera led the Miners with 13 kills and only four errors. The senior also posted eight digs and a service ace. Lindsey Larson followed with eight kills as Malia Patterson aided the Miner offense with 29 assists.

Rhode Runners Notables

The Roadrunners are led by Preseason C-USA Player of the Year McKenzie Adams. The outside hitter was named the Conference USA Player of the Year, the league office announced on Wednesday.

The national leader in kills per set, was one of only two unanimous selections to the all- conference teams on Tuesday after earning seven C-USA Player of the Week awards (six offensive/one defensive) during her senior campaign. She was the first player in program history and only the fifth in C-USA annals to be named the sports Imports/ AVCA national Player of the Week on Nov. 5.

Double-Double Machines

Seniors Xitlali Herrera and Malia Patterson are setting their own mark on the court have already tallied a combined total of 18 double-doubles this season. Most recently, the seniors registered double-double performances against East Carolina.

Herrera who as posted 12 double-doubles delivered a match high 15 kills while posting 11 digs. The middle blocker also contributed 4 blocks. (1s/3a) to secure 18.5 points for UTEP.

Patterson secured her sixth double-double of the season versus Tulsa as she secured added power to UTEP’s effort on the court with a match high 48 assists and 18 digs.

Miners in the Rankings

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

With the conclusion of the regular season, the Miners finish ninth out of 15 teams with a 7-7 league record. UTEP is currently ranked 8th in service aces (1.14), hitting percentage (.205), digs (14.72), kills (13.20), and assists (12.21). They are ranked 12th in blocks (179.5). The squad has compiled an impressive 1,254 kills, 1,160 assists, 179.5 blocks (56s/207a) and 108 service aces.

Nationally, UTEP is ranked 104th in kills per set with Herrera leading the pack with 415 kills.

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 frontcourt with 415 kills and is ranked fourth in Conference USA. The senior’s execution in kills has also garnered her NCAA recognition as she ranks 23rd 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 296 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 second in C-USA. Jones has delivered 31 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 3.69 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 353 digs, averaging 3.76 per set. Valencia is ranked 16th 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 985 assists including a season high of 55 against Oral Roberts (9/6).

She is ranked seventh in Conference USA for assists (10.18 per set). The setter has already climbed up the UTEP recordbook earning third in program history with a career total of 3,702 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 ten 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 415 kills, 25 assists, and 12 service aces. Defensively, Herrera has already secured 92 blocks (23s/69a) this season, bringing her career total to 325 (45s/269a). 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 1,132 kills in only three years with UTEP.

The middle blocker is an all-around player that has already captured 415 kills in only 27 matches. The senior has also tallied 12 double-doubles this season for the Miners.

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