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Home | Tag Archives: miner volleyball

Tag Archives: miner volleyball

UTEP Athletics announces student-athlete re-entry plan; Phased voluntary workouts begin June 15

UTEP student-athletes will return to campus for voluntary workouts in phases beginning on June 15, Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Thursday.

“It is important for us to bring student-athletes back to campus in a thoughtful and deliberate fashion, one that ensures we are following best practices and meeting CDC guidelines for the sake of everyone’s health and safety,” Senter said.  “We know that until a vaccine is developed, we will have to live with the virus and must learn to mitigate the risk of catching it.  Bringing Miner student-athletes back to campus is a huge step toward achieving some sense of normalcy.”

The first group of student-athletes returning to campus for voluntary workouts on June 15 will represent football and will number approximately 45.

The football numbers will gradually increase during the months of June and July.

Limited numbers of student-athletes from cross country, soccer and volleyball will be integrated for voluntary workouts beginning the week of June 22.  Limited numbers of student-athletes from men’s and women’s basketball and track and field will be integrated for voluntary workouts beginning the week of June 29.

Student-athletes from all other sports will be eligible to return to campus for voluntary workouts starting the week of July 6.

Prior to returning to campus, all student-athletes will need to complete an online questionnaire asking if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms over the last three months.  All student-athletes will also need to undergo a physical on campus before beginning voluntary workouts.

The Athletics Executive Team has been working with head coaches, Sports Medicine Staff and Strength and Conditioning Staff to perform an analysis of all facilities and determine organization of voluntary workouts including student-athlete ingress/egress, maximum capacity per area to ensure that social distancing is being practiced, and other safety protocols.

All student-athletes will undergo a daily wellness screening prior to entering athletics facilities, at which time their temperature will be taken and they will be asked recommended medical questions.

Student-athletes who pass the screening will receive a different colored bracelet each day that they will need to wear to gain access to the facility.

Student-athletes will be split into groups to ensure that social distancing is being practiced at all times.  Student-athletes will be required to wear a face mask when inside all athletics facilities.  Student-athletes will not need to wear a face mask for outdoor workouts provided social distancing is being practiced.

All facilities will be marked with signage to specify COVID-19 symptoms, how to guard against contracting the virus, social distancing protocols, entrance and exit points.  Access to the training room and coaches’ offices will be by appointment only and locker room access will be limited to small groups for short periods of time.

Social distancing will be practiced in all areas, including the weight room.

While in the weight room, student-athletes will be required to bring their own water bottle and will not share with others.  All strength and conditioning voluntary workouts will limit the sharing of equipment, and all equipment will be sanitized following each use.

Equipment managers will wash face masks daily following voluntary workouts.  Each student-athlete will receive two face masks, one for the day’s workout and the other for the next day’s workout.  All facilities will be cleaned/sanitized following the departure of each group of student-athletes.

Any student-athlete who is ill and/or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 is required to refrain from entering athletics facilities and contact Sports Medicine personnel immediately for testing.

All student-athletes or staff who test positive for COVID-19, along with those they have come into immediate contact with, will be subject to mandatory quarantine based on CDC guidelines.

Per NCAA rules, only strength and conditioning coaches and Sports Medicine personnel (athletic trainers) are permitted to observe voluntary workouts.  It is impermissible for sports coaches and staff, as well as media members, to attend voluntary workouts.

UTEP Volleyball Year in Review

The 2019 UTEP Volleyball campaign began with a first-year coaching staff looking to spark a turnaround that Miners fans quickly learned would occur much faster than expected.

Head coach Ben Wallis and Co. put together the best turnaround by a first-year staff in program history by taking the Miners from a five-win season in 2018 to a win total of 13 matches in 2019.

The Orange and Blue experienced a season unlike any in quite some time. The Miners made the conference tournament for the first time in three seasons, and had their highest finish in the conference standings since the 2012 campaign.

“In a number of ways, I feel like our city, our administration, university, support staff, families and people who were around the program that knew what we were facing have been unbelievably supportive,” Wallis said. “When I look at our season, I am very pleased and proud of what we did with this group, considering the state of the program when we took over. To get to 13 wins against the schedule that we had is a success from where our program started.

“I am proud of what we put out there and the way we reshaped our program. We turned this team in to a team that expects to win and not just keep it close. At one point against Rice in the conference tournament, I looked at my players in a timeout and I saw a look in their eyes that they knew they could win.”

Additionally, UTEP also made a monster leap in the national RPI rankings. It was ranked 249 at the end of last season out of over 330 teams. The 2019 season saw a jump of more than 100 spots into the top 150.

The Miners won seven matches in non-conference play, which was one more than the last two seasons combined. This marked the first time the program posted a non-conference record above .500 since 2011.

Wallis and the Miners also boasted a winning record at home with a 6-3 mark in historic Memorial Gym. The 6-3 record on their home floor was the first winning record in the Sun City since 2013 when UTEP posted an identical .667 home winning percentage.

“Our home attendance was something I was most proud of this season,” Wallis noted. “Our home attendance moved us into third in the conference in average attendance. That makes me extremely proud to know that in the better part of six months we were able to get the city of El Paso excited about our team. Having everyone there also helped us win some games. We went 6-3 at home and gave people major issues when they played here. We beat two Top 100 teams on our home floor with a roster of kids with very little experience in those games. I am hopeful that this will continue to be a tough place for teams to play in the future.”

Individually, Cheyenne Jones made significant improvements to her game under Wallis. The junior became just the fifth player in UTEP history to earn second team All-Conference USA accolades. Over the course of the 2019 season, Jones posted career highs in kills (259), hitting percentage (.242), total blocks (74) and points (303).

UTEP’s Mallory Yost also enjoyed a career season, posting personal bests in kills (198) and total blocks (90), while the junior also increased her hitting percentage by hitting .324 for the year.

The Miners also made history with the number of weekly awards handed out by the conference office. Irbe Lazda became the first player in program history to be named C-USA Freshman of the Week, while Serena Patterson was the first C-USA Offensive Player of the Week from UTEP since 2013.

“To be able to get Cheyenne on the all-conference team, and to have Serena and Irbe win conference player of the week was great,” Wallis stated. “We had several all-tournament team participants, and getting into seventh place in the conference after being 12th last year shows a significant amount of improvement.”

During the conference tournament, the Miners took a set off the No. 21 team in the nation in the Rice Owls. It marked the first set victory over a ranked opponent since 2001.

Looking ahead to the 2020 campaign, Wallis and the Miners will enter the season with a more experienced roster as UTEP returns 12 players who saw action on the floor a season ago, including Jones, Lazda and Patterson.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

Picks Up Podcast turns to Miner Volleyball, talks with Coach Ben Wallis

The “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher visits with UTEP Volleyball Coach Ben Wallis in this week’s episode of the “Picks Up Podcast.”

This week, Coach Wallis reviews the Miners’ much-improved 2019 campaign and discusses the team’s prospects for 2020.

The “Picks Up Podcast” airs weekly on www.utepminers.com, with special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni.

The “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else.

To go directly to the podcast landing page, click here.

UTEP Volleyball inks Ava Palm to Signing Class

Head coach Ben Wallis and UTEP volleyball have announced the addition of Ava Palm, an outside hitter from Bakersfield High School in California, to the 2020 signing class.

“My staff and I are thrilled to receive the commitment from Ava,” Wallis said of the latest addition to the signing class. “She is a very skilled and talented outside hitter that has been playing some high-level volleyball for Jamba VBC in central California. She has played for some really good club coaches and already has a skill set that will allow for her to help us on either pin right away in 2020.”

Palm prepped at Bakersfield High School where she totaled more than 1,000 kills, 192 blocks and 161 service aces over four years. She also tallied 756 digs and nearly a 40 percent hitting percentage during her prep days.

As a senior at Bakersfield, Palm ranked first in hitting percentage in the South West Yosemite League, third in the California Central Section and seventh overall in California’s Division I.

“She is the prototypical outside hitter recruit that has lots of tools,” Wallis said. “She is long, fast, high, can ball handle already and is a solid blocker with range and arm speed as an attacker. The thing that sold me on her, however, was that she is very competitive and wants the ball all the time. Front row and back row, she is ready to attack and has the skill to do it already. She is going to have a small adjustment to the collegiate game physically, but she is going to grow a lot in the weight room once she gets here on campus.”

Palm served as a four-year starter and two-time captain in high school, while she was twice named MVP and a three-time SWYL First Team All-League recipient. She earned First Team All-Area Central Section honors twice at Bakersfield and was a KHSD “Achieve” Inaugural First Team selection.

“Ava was in the running for selection in the prep volleyball ‘Soph 79’ as a 10th grader, but has flown under the radar in recruiting since then, so we are ecstatic to get a commitment from a skilled athlete like this that is normally not available this late in the process,” Wallis continued. “Folks in El Paso are going to love watching her play as she has a great personality and spirit to go along with her talent.”

Palm played her club volleyball for Club Jamba in Bakersfield.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Volleyball Signs Hula Crisostomo

Head coach Ben Wallis and UTEP volleyball continue gearing up for the upcoming season, announcing the signing of Ha’ahulakaleikaimanapo’aikalakahikikapuiholaneikeku’ina “Hula” Crisostomo, a defensive specialist/libero from Honolulu, Hawaii.

“We are so jacked up that Hula is going to join our program in the Fall of 2020,” Coach Wallis said. “Not only was she a first team All-American as a volleyball player, but she’s a stud as a leader. She is the type of person and soldier that we need here in El Paso to continue to help push our program in the right direction.”

Crisostomo will be joining the Miners following her two-year stint at New Mexico Military Institute. For the 2019-20 season at NMMI, she was ranked first in the NJCAA for digs with a total of 921 as well as third for her average of digs per set, 6.22. In conference play she accumulated 286 digs and 6.65 D/S.

“One of the main reasons we recruited her is because of her ability to dig balls at an extremely high level,” Wallis stated. “She led junior college in digs per set, and will immediately impact our team defensively with her ability to pursue volleyballs and keep them off the floor. She can make everyone around her better, and make them play harder. We get to now see a lineup where we could potentially run her out there with Alex Torres, who as a sophomore, was one of the best receiving liberos in the conference. Now we have a formidable duo that will make life hard for our opponents in 2020.”

In 2019, Crisostomo was named NJCAA Player of the Week (Sept. 2-8) for Region V.  Throughout her two-year experience at NMMI, Hula managed to increase her total digs by 267 from her freshman to sophomore year.

Previous to NMMI, Crisostomo was a part of Ka Ulukoa Volleyball Institute and Moanalua High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“Her coach at NMMI couldn’t speak more highly of Hula,” Wallis explained. “She consistently talked about her being one of the best leaders she has ever coached, and we need that in our program. We were lucky enough to pull Hula away fro some other pretty good division I programs, and I know El Paso volleyball fans are going to love watching her play.”

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Volleyball announces signing of Marina Sanchez

UTEP volleyball head coach Ben Wallis announced the signing of Marina Sanchez on Wednesday morning.

“We’re really excited to get Marina Sanchez on board in 2020,” Wallis said. “She is an El Paso girl and came to a little Miners volleyball camp several years ago and so it’s a really special story for her to be able to come full circle and now be committed to play division I volleyball for the university she grew up watching and cheering for. Marina will be a great addition to our new wave of athletic Miner recruits. She’s going to be added to a list of athletic highflying kids with arm speed that will be walking the streets of UTEP now. We’re collecting athlete after athlete that will not only make practice more competitive, but our depth at every position is growing because of the young additions of players like Marina.”

Sanchez is a 5’11 senior at Presidio high school, and she is a middle blocker and outside hitter. While at Presidio she helped her team to a perfect district record of 7-0. She was named the district MVP, and led her team to a bi-district championship.

Before her senior year at Presidio high school, Sanchez played for Fabens high school in El Paso, Texas. During her junior campaign she led her squad to a 34-2 record, a district title and a deep run into the state playoffs.

In her final year at Fabens she racked up 155 kills and 4.1 kills per set on a .439 hitting percentage. She was also a menace on defense, accumulating 23 solo blocks. Sanchez was named to the first team all-district squad.

Coach Wallis is impressed by Sanchez’s athletic acumen, but he’s also impressed by her ability to learn and respectful nature.

“Marina is a special talent. She’s long, wiry, fast off the floor and has a big arm,” Wallis explained. “She can play either antenna and is working hard at learning the pass and defend stuff in order to be a six-rotation player soon. She has been a middle much of her life but shows a knack for being able to hit highballs already. She was an exceptional learner at camp this summer and is the most respectful young lady with constant, “yes sir and no sir” after every instructional piece.”

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Volleyball announces Spring Camps

UTEP Volleyball and head coach Ben Wallis unveil two spring camp offerings for El Paso and the surrounding areas.

“We are really looking forward to hosting these spring clinics and camps this year,” coach Wallis said. “This is the first time in my career we have ever done them. We thought we would start offering something for our El Paso faithful that have already been emailing us and asking us about coming to camp. We had a great lineup and following last summer, and we wanted to get a couple of opportunities for our El Paso and Las Cruces people to come out and be here for our spring clinics and camps.”

The first camp of the spring will be a comprehensive skill camp that will teach, train and develop the skill of serving for volleyball in a fun and competitive environment.

Players will be trained in all areas of the serve, standing float, jump float, topspin, short serve and strategies behind the serve. Each skill will be broken down very specifically to ensure development and learning.

This serving camp will be offered on March 22 and April 5, from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., at Memorial Gym. The cost of this one-day clinic is $55 per participant, and is open to any child from the ages of 7-18 years old.

The second camp offering during the spring will be a comprehensive all-skill camp that will teach, train and develop every skill of the sport of volleyball in a fun and competitive environment. Players will be trained in all aspects of the sport, and each skill will be broken down very specifically to ensure development and learning.

This all-skill camp will be offered on March 22 and April 5, from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Memorial Gym. The cost of this clinic is $99 per participant, and is open to any child elementary to middle school aged.

“We will have our UTEP staff and players working with these guys in March and April,” coach Wallis said. “We are looking forward to getting people out and training them up out here in Memorial Gym.”

UTEP officials add that these camps are open to and all entrants, limited only by number, grade level and/or gender.

Interested participants can visit the UTEP camp page to sign up; for any questions or concerns, contact assistant coach/camp director Nikola Petrovic via email at npetrovic@utep.edu.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Volleyball plays host to Marshall

The UTEP volleyball team (9-11, 2-5) will play host to Marshall (12-8, 3-4) on Friday, October 25 at 6 p.m. MT at Memorial Gym.

This match is the annual “Pink Out” game for the Miners. Tickets are just $3 if you attend the match wearing pink.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

The Thundering Herd are coming to the Sun City on a four-match losing streak. Three of those losses have come against top teams in Conference USA (Rice, WKU and North Texas), and the other was against Middle Tennessee. Ciara Debell has been the workhorse on the offensive end with 286 kills this season. Destiny Leon has amassed 100 blocks to lead the Marshall defense.

The Orange and Blue won five matches all of last season. They have already surpassed that mark with nine victories. UTEP has also matched the Conference win total from 2018 (two) only seven games into the C-USA schedule.

During 2018 the Miners were victorious in only one match in Memorial Gym, and in 2019 they have three.

Redshirt freshman Kenidy Howard has made great use of her time on the floor at middle blocker. Ten matches ago Howard began to see major playing time. Since then she is leading the team with 41 total blocks and 1.11 blocks per set.

Sophomore Serena Patterson paces the team in kills with 191. This is a new career high for the outside hitter, who posted 165 last season. She is also up to a .188 hitting percentage, which is .080 points higher than her 2018 mark.

The Miners have posted a .380 hitting % or higher on two different occasions this year. The first was against Montana (.393), and the most recent coming versus LA Tech (.381). Prior to these two matches, the last time this happened for UTEP was on August 26, 2011 against Southern (.412).

Cheyenne Jones and Serena Patterson were nearly unstoppable in the sweep against LA Tech. Jones had 14 kills on a .545 hitting clip, and Patterson posted 13 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. This efficiency helped propel the Miners to a .381 hitting percentage as a team, and their first conference victory of the year.

The match will be live streamed at CUSA.tv and live stats will be available as well.

Miners travel to Lubbock for Red Raider Classic

UTEP volleyball (5-5) will hit the road to Lubbock, Texas, to play three matches this weekend at the Red Raider Classic, hosted by Texas Tech.

The Orange and Blue will begin the weekend versus UIW (4-7), on Friday at 2 p.m. MT. The Miners and Cardinals squared off earlier this year at the I-10 Challenge in Lafayette, La.

UTEP bested UIW in five sets, with Cheyenne Jones posting a career-high 24 kills on a .396 hitting clip. Bethany Clapp is leading the Cardinals with 117 kills and 3.25 kills per set. UIW collected two victories this past weekend over NIU (3-0) and Niagara (3-1).

The Miners will play two matches on Saturday. The first of which will be against Houston (5-7) at 10 a.m. MT.

Abbie Jackson has carried the majority of the workload on offense for UH. She has amassed 180 kills with 4.50 kills per set this season. Rachel Tullos has been a beast at the net with 43 blocks on the year already. Since opening weekend the Cougars are 4-3 after starting the season 0-4.

Later that day, the Miners will lock up with host-school Texas Tech at 6 p.m. MT. The Red Raiders have been reliant on the dominance of senior Emily Hill. Hill has already accumulated 210 kills this season with 5.00 kills per set. Texas Tech has locked in seven wins this year, and is looking to protect its home court at the Red Raider Classic.

Each match will have live stats on the Texas Tech home website

Only the match versus the Red Raiders will be live streamed this weekend.

The Orange and Blue are coming off of a sweep against Montana where Serena Patterson led the way with 10 kills on a .412 hitting percentage.

With the victory over the Grizzlies, UTEP has now matched last year’s win total, only 10 matches into the season. The last time the Miners had a .500 winning percentage 10 games into the season was during the 2013 campaign.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

HP Sports In Depth: UTEP Volleyball embraces El Paso

Ben Wallis, in his first year leading UTEP volleyball, has already instilled a culture that is bringing the Sun City and Wallis’s squad together. The Miners have accumulated 132 hours of community service, which leads all teams at UTEP.

The team and coaching staff understand the importance of building these relationships in the community.

“It is near the top of the list in things, other than winning, that we have to do this year,” Wallis said. “The more the people know us, the more they have a personal relationship with our players, the more they are going to want to come out and cheer us on.”

After the Miners’ intra squad scrimmage last week, coach Wallis and the team had the opportunity to see first hand what those relationships can yield.

“We had a young lady on social media that showed the ball she got from Alex Torres, and posted that she is forever a Miner fan because of it. Literally Alex changed that kid’s life just by throwing her a ball, and she was stoked about it.”

Wallis wants moments like Torres and the little girl to become a regular occurrence for his team.

“Hopefully that becomes something that is engrained in our culture and engrained in our program from here on out.”

The Miners have lofty goals of amassing over 600 hours of community service by year’s end. They are looking to accomplish this in a multitude of ways. One of which is getting more involved at the children’s hospital. This mission holds personal significance for Wallis.

“There is a young boy that his parents and I are close,” Wallis recounted. “He comes down every other week to the children’s hospital because he has leukemia. I have told them on a number of occasions that I want to know when he’s coming down next, because I want to take our team over there.”

Another aspect will be getting involved with GameChangers Clinics, which helps provide underprivileged youth with athletic training.

“It is a great avenue for people that don’t have money,” Wallis explained. “It is for those who can’t play club volleyball, to be able to come out to some of the clinics. We want to get the young people in our city excited about volleyball and learn, whether its boys or girls it doesn’t matter. It is important to me to get involved with the youth in the community.”

Although there are 10 new players and a first-year coaching staff, this team is taking to the El Paso community with ease.

“Some of the veterans that have been here are starting to understand the need to reach out more,” Wallis said. “The young people have been great. They understand, and everyone is starting to get on the same page.”

The Sun City has already seen UTEP Volleyball impact the lives of its youth. The Wallis era promises to continue to foster a culture that builds relationships and builds the sport of volleyball in El Paso.

Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics

Brandon Michael Collins – UTEP

HP Sports In Depth: Miner Volleyball Heads to Sunshine State

The UTEP Volleyball team will do a tour of Florida this weekend when they travel to the Sunshine State take on FIU and Florida Atlantic in the final Conference USA road trip of the season.

The Miners (5-19, 2-9 C-USA) will take on the Panthers (3-14, 2-8 C-USA) on Friday at 5 p.m. MT in Miami and close out with a 10 a.m. MT Sunday match up against the Owls (15-7, 6-4 C-USA) in Boca Raton.

Though they split last weekend’s home matches, the highlight was the Miners blanking Middle Tennessee for their second conference win and sweep of the season.  The Miners did not allow the Blue Raiders to reach 20 points in any set, taking the match 25-19, 25-16 and 25-14 on Senior Day for UTEP upperclassmen Amanda King and Dania Orozco.

On Friday, they kept pace, but fell to LA Tech 3-1. The Miners stopped a potential sweep by the Lady Techsters by getting a 25-23 set three win, but LA Tech took the match 25-22, 25-29, 23-25, 25-22 to down the Orange and Blue.

The UTEP offense was manned by Macey Austin, Mallory Yost and Kylie Baumgartner with 25, 20, and 13 kills respectively,  on the weekend while defensive efforts were run by Ashley Grzebeniak with 20 digs, as well as Yost and Baumgartner with a combined 17 blocks.

The Miners will be on the hunt for their third and fourth conference wins and competing to return to the Conference USA Tournament. The Panthers are 10th in league standings while the Owls are fifth. Last season, the Miners beat both Florida schools to help them make the tournament.

Both of UTEP’s weekend matches in Florida will be live streamed through CUSA.tv, which requires a paid subscription.

LIVE STATS VS FIU  |  LIVE STREAM VS FIU    |     LIVE STREAM VS FLORIDA ATLANTIC

FIU Scouting Report

Series: Friday’s match will mark the fifth meeting between FIU and UTEP, with the Miners holding the 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. They first met in 2013 in Memorial Gym, with the Miners blanking the Panthers 3-0. They last met in 2016, where UTEP again took the match in Memorial Gym 3-2. The Panthers are 3-14 overall and 2-8 in league play.

PANTHER Notables

FIU is coming off a three set win against Bethune-Cookman (25-13, 25-23, 25-19) to improve their record to 9-19 overall, 3-11 in Conference USA. Senior Taija Thomas led the Panthers offense with a career-high 18 kills (.667) with no errors and chipped in with two blocks. Behind Thomas was sophomore Sidney Henderson clinching a career-high in kills with 13.

FIU hit a season-best .353 in the match against BCU. The Panthers also recorded a 73 percent side-out mark during the showing. On the defensive side, junior Margherita Bianchin and sophomore libero Helene Thelle led the team with 13 and 11 digs, respectively.

The Panthers are ranked fourth in C-USA for digs with 920 (14.84), while sophomore Thelle is ranked fifth in the league with 228 (3.68).

FLORIDA ATLANTIC SCOUTING REPORT

Series: Sunday’s match will be the fifth meeting between the Owls and Miners. Both will be playing for the all-time series lead, which is currently tied 2-2. They first met in 2013 in El Paso, when the Miners swept the Owls.

They last met in 2016, where UTEP took the 3-2 win in Memorial Gym. The Owls are 15-7 overall and 6-4 in C-USA play.

OWL NOTABLES

FAU clinched its fifth-consecutive win after defeating Marshall in three-straight sets (25-15, 25-20, 25-23) to improve to a 6-4 record in Conference USA and a 15-7 overall record. Freshman Sydney Nemtuda led the Owls offensively with 18 kills and adding three blocks. Alongside Nemtuda was junior Abbi Reid, who registered 10 kills and two blocks to secure the win.

Meanwhile on the defensive side, junior libero Alex Cardona tallied 14 digs to lead the team. Cardona is ranked third in C-USA for digs with 317 (4.17). Setter Ivone Martinez dished out 43 assists and 11 digs to notch her eight double-double of the season.

Martinez is ranked as the C-USA leader in assists with 866 (12.74) to help facilitate the Owls’ attack and lead them to a pair of sweeps against FIU and Marshall. Sophomore outside hitter Sigourney Kame is also ranked amongst the top players in the league (third) with 294 kills (3.92) this season. FAU not only leads C-USA in kills with 1,157 (15.03), but also rates first in assists with a 14.42 percentage.

SWEEP SWEEP 

After not allowing Middle Tennessee to score 20 points in any frame, the Miners earned their second sweep of the season, making quick work of the Blue Raiders 25-19, 25-16, 25-14 in Memorial Gym. The team’s last sweep came on Sept. 9 against Delaware State during the Borderland Invitational. UTEP’s hard-hitting offense coupled with an effective defensive effort helped them to the win.

Mallory Yost and Macey Austin paced the UTEP offensive with nine kills each while Cheyenne Jones notched seven kills at a .500 clip.

Senior Amanda King dished out 32 assists to set up the offense. Defensively, Ashley Grzebeniak led the team with nine digs, while Briana Arellano added eight of her own. Kylie Baumgartner was a force at the net, notching the team’s lone solo block while also teaming up for four block assists to stop the Blue Raider offense and keep them at a .080 hitting percentage.

FRIDAY NIGHT FALTER

A third set comeback was highlighted by a combined 10 kills from Macey Austin, Briana Arellano and Kylie Baumgartner for a 25-23 set victory, but the Miners fell to LA Tech in four sets on Friday at Memorial Gym. The Lady Techsters took sets one and two (25-22, 25-19) before the Miners got the third set victory from six kills from Austin and three apiece from Arellano and Baumgartner. LA Tech would go on to take set four (25-22) and the match 3-1.

Austin earned her 10th double-digit kill match in a row after hammering 16 kills to lead the team, while freshman Mallory Yost was close behind her with 11 kills of her own. Yost also had a team-high five blocks, including a solo block, and a career-high four digs.

Arellano and Baumgartner each had eight kills, while Arellano also recorded eight digs and two service aces and Baumgartner tallied four block assists. Amanda King notched 38 assists and Ashley

Grzebeniak paced the Miner defense with 11 digs. Dania Orozco led the team with three service aces and picked up five digs.

YOST, AUSTIN HEAD DEPARTMENT OF OFFENSE

Rookie Mallory Yost and sophomore Macey Austin paced the UTEP offensive in their team’s rout of Middle Tennessee with nine kills each. Yost was hitting at a blistering .500 clip, while Austin, who was held to single-digit kills for the first time since Sept. 19, was hitting at a .400 percentage.

Cheyenne Jones also put in work for the offense, notching seven kills at a .500 clip. The Miners hit at their second season-best percentage of .338 with 36 kills and only ten errors, while the Blue Raiders hit at a .080 percentage. Austin continues to lead the Miner offense this season, breaking the 300-kill mark after posting 25 kills on the weekend for a season total of 315. Jones is second on the list with 167.

As a team, the Miners have totaled 1,023 kills on the season.

RETURN TO THE SUNSHINE STATE 

UTEP will return to Florida for the first time since 2015, when they dropped both matches against FIU and Florida Atlantic in three sets. When the Florida conference schools came to the Lone Star State last season, the Miners notched five set victories over both teams in Memorial Gym.

YOU GOT SERVED

UTEP broke the century mark for aces recorded with 110 this season. Briana Arellano paces the Miners with 24 service aces, while Niki Cebak is close behind with 22 this season.

UTEP Volleyball Falls to New Mexico in Glory Road Invitational

The UTEP Volleyball team fell to New Mexico 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) in the Miner’s first match at the Glory Road Invitational on Friday.

The Miners will return Saturday for a double-header in Memorial Gym, first at 1 p.m. (MT) against the Youngstown State Penguins then a 7:30 p.m. (MT) meeting with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks to close out their home tournament. The Penguins, who played a double-header on Friday, fell to both New Mexico and North Dakota.

Pacing the Miners’ offense was Macey Austin, who notched 10 kills with a .273 clip. Ashley Grzebeniak was an all-around force for her team, knocking down eight kills, recording a block assist and picking up nine digs.

Kylie Baumgartner was big in the middle, earning herself six kills while also leading the team in block assists (3) and recorded the Miners’ lone solo block. Defensively, sophomore libero Niki Cebak picked up 14 digs, Dania Orozco notched five and Briana Arellano added seven of her own. True freshman Sahara Martinez put in work as well, dishing out 21 assists.

“I think Dania passed really well, Grzebeniak played a full rotation for the first time this year, Maddie and Mallory switched really well and every one had to do a little more than last time and so we had a few mistakes but played well overall,” head coach Holly Watts said. ““We are expecting our team to be fresh for tomorrow and use today as a learning experience. We win or we learn more and continue to build as a team.”

In total, the Miners recorded 37 kills, 33 assists, 42 digs, six block assists, and one solo block. The Lobos notched 40 kills, 37 assists, 54 digs, eight block assists and three solo blocks.

The Miners started strong with a competitive New Mexico squad, going head to head and having an answer for each Lobo attack. Grzebeniak knocked down a kill to bring the Miners within one point of the Lobos, but New Mexico’s Mariessa Carrasco answered back with a kill of her own to bring the score to 23-21, and the Lobos never looked back, taking set one 25-22.

A fired-up New Mexico squad handled set two 25-18, but the aggressive Miners did not go down in set three without a fight, climbing from a 10-point deficit to challenge the Lobos 23-21 before ultimately falling 25-22.

“We’re still working on the chemistry of this team and even with two seniors on the team [Orozco and Amanda King] they are junior transfers who are playing their second year here,” Watts said. “We’re young, J\just getting used to the players next to you and having these games will help this team get better. Playing four games in four days is good for their experience, it’s a lot more fun playing against somebody else than practicing against each other.”

H-P Sports In Depth: UTEP Volleyball Hosts First of Two Tournaments

The UTEP volleyball team will host its first of two tournaments this Friday, Sept. 1, and Saturday, Sept. 2, when Memorial Gym opens its doors to New Mexico, Youngstown State, and North Dakota for the first-ever Glory Road Invitational.

The round-robin tournament will pit UTEP (0-2) against New Mexico (2-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.. and Saturday will feature a double-header for the Miners. First, UTEP will battle Youngstown State (4-0) at 1 p.m., then the home team will meet with North Dakota at 7:30 p.m. to close out the tournament.

All matches will be played at Memorial Gym. Due to equipment damage sustained from Friday’s storm during a soccer match, there will be no live stream of the matches, but live stats will be available.

Admission for the tournament is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

LIVE STATS: http://www.sidearmstats.com/utep/wvball/

GLORY ROAD INVITATIONAL BREAKDOWN
The Inaugural Glory Road Invitational on Sept. 1-2 will feature host UTEP, New Mexico, North Dakota and Youngstown State. There will be six matches played during the two-day event at Memorial Gym. Youngstown State (visitor, light jersey) and New Mexico (home, dark jersey) will open the Invite on Friday at 11 a.m. Youngstown State (visitor, dark jersey) will play its second match on the day against North Dakota (home, light jersey) at 5:30 p.m. UTEP will open its weekend against New Mexico at 7:30 p.m. North Dakota (home, light jersey) and New Mexico (visitor, dark jersey) will commence Saturday’s matches at 11 a.m. UTEP will then host Youngstown State at 1 p.m. and North Dakota at 7:30 p.m. to conclude the weekend. A tournament guide, including practice schedules, can be found at www.utepathletics.com on the women’s volleyball page under the “More+” link.

New Mexico Scouting Report
Series: Friday’s match will mark the 42nd meeting between the old conference foes, with New Mexico holding the all-time record of 33-8. The New Mexico Lobos finished the 2016 season with a 16-16 overall record, 6-12 Mountain West Conference record.

Lobo Notables
New Mexico has a few veteran players returning for the 2017 season, including senior Ashley Kelsey and junior Victoria Spragg. Kelsey, a libero, lead the Lobos in defense with a team-leading 523 digs (4.29 digs/set), the third-most in a single season in program history. The senior was also named to the UNM Invitational and USF Invitational All-Tournament teams. Spragg, a middle blocker, will also lead the charge in defense for the Lobos. Spragg lead the team with a season high of 118 blocks (0.99/set), she was also named to the UT Arlington Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Youngstown State Scouting Report
Series: Saturday’s match will mark the first time UTEP and Youngstown State have meet. The Youngstown State Penguins finished the 2016 season with a 8-22 overall record, 2-14 Horizon League Conference record.

Penguins Notables
Youngstown State looks to return seniors Sam Brown and El Paso native Lauren Blanco for the 2017 season. Brown, outside hitter, registered 278 kills (2.53 kills/set) and career-high 262 digs (2.38 digs/set) season in 2016 for the Penguins offense. Blanco, a libero, was named Team’s Best Defensive Player and was the first libero to earn academic all-conference honors in program history. Varcolla, a middle, finished the season with a team-high of 117 blocks (1.06 blocks/set).

North Dakota Scouting Report
Series: Saturday’s match will mark the second meeting between the Miners and Fighting Hawks, with North Dakota holding the 1-0 advantage. The North Dakota Fighting Hawks finished the 2016 season with a 26-10 overall record, 14-2 Big Sky Conference record.

Fighting Hawks Notables
North Dakota looks to return seniors Faith Dooley and Sydney Griffin for the 2017 season. Dooley, a middle hitter, finished the 2016 season with 476 blocks, 12 shy of the UND all-time record (488). Griffin, a setter, delivered 1,316 in 2016, 19th-most in NCAA Division I. Dooley and Griffin also competed in the 2017 U.S Volleyball Collegiate National Team tryout. Fraase, a libero, was named Academic All-Big Sky and ended the 2016 season with 583 digs, charting one of the best seasons in UND history.

FIVE-SET HEARTBREAKER
The Miners will enter the Glory Road Invitational looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Texas Tech at home that ended in extra points in the fifth set in Memorial Gym. The Miners took set one 25-23, but dropped back-to-back sets 25-20 and 25-18 to the Red Raiders. The Miners had a huge comeback to take set four 25-23 and forced Texas Tech to extra points before ultimately falling 18-16.

ON THE HUNT FOR WIN NO. 1
UTEP will be hunting for their first win of the season during this weekend’s play. The Miners dropped two games at the North Texas Invitational last weekend against very competitive Montana and Tulsa teams. First scheduled to play at the I-10 Cardinals Classic, the devastating Hurricane Harvey forced host Incarnate Word to cancel play on Thursday, leaving the Miners without a tournament. They were extended an invitation to play in the North Texas Invitational in Denton, Texas on Friday, hopping on a plane that same day to face Montana that evening. The Miners took the Grizzlies to four sets, but dropped the match 3-1. Saturday’s match up pitted them against old Western Athletic Conference and Conference USA foe Tulsa. The sets were a shoot out, but Tulsa came out with the 3-0 sweep. Another close match came at the home opener against Texas Tech on Wednesday, with the Red Raiders prevailing 3-2.

KING DOING KING THINGS
Amanda King is putting up big numbers through three matches in 2017. She is recording 7.75 assists per set, which was helped by a 48-assist performance in the five-set thriller against Texas Tech on Wednesday. King is also tied for the squad lead in block assists (10), tied for second for total blocks (10) and places fourth on the team in digs (13-1.08 digs per set). The setter has managed 10 kills as well, which earns her a share of fifth on the squad.

THE DEBUT OF JONES
True freshman Cheyenne Jones has been making her presence known at the collegiate level. The powerful hitter has been a force on the Miners’ outside, hammering down 25 kills (2.08 k/s) at a .135 clip, ranking second on the team behind Macey Austin. She has also recorded two service aces, seven digs and 10 block assists. Jones currently leads the team in points with 32.

EXPERIENCED TEAM RETURNS
Nine of the 13 players on UTEP’s roster are returning players, while the Miners add four freshmen to the mix.

ANALYZING THE DEPTH
Outside Hitters
UTEP has the most depth in the outside position with a total of five outside hitters. Junior Ashley Grzebeniak is the only upperclassman that returned, bringing two years of experience and coming off a 148-kill season. The Miners are also loaded with sophomores Macey Austin, who was named to the 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman, and El Paso native Briana Arellano. In 2016, Austin started in 21 of 30 matches and led the team in kills (280) while Arellano saw action in 29 matches, starting in 14 contests. Sophomore Ali Vidali also returned and brought one year of experience and is continuing to develop as a player after appearing in 49 sets. Freshman Cheyenne Jones also joined the group. The 6-foot-1 Missoula, Montana native brings tremendous size and power and is anticipated to make an immediate impact to the team.

Middle Blockers
At the middle blocker position, the Miners returned juniors Kylie Baumgartner and Maddie Morgan and add freshman Mallory Yost. Baumgartner brings two years of experience and once again led the Miners in blocks with 111 total (18s/93a) in 2016. Morgan also has two years under her belt, knocking down 102 kills and tallying 30 total blocks last season. Yost adds size to the position at 6-foot-1 and should see plenty of playing time as the Miners work to develop her to the collegiate-level pace. She finished her high school career with 816 kills at a .377 hitting efficiency, 182 digs, 151 blocks (56s/95a), 11 assists and nine service aces.

Setters
Senior Amanda King filled the void left with Lindsey Larson’s departure. The senior, who transferred to UTEP last season from Palm Beach State, made 25 starts in 30 matches and dished out 371 assists at a 3.28 average assists per set. As a six-rotation player, King also registered 192 digs, 18 kills, 14 service aces and 32 points. Joining King will be freshman Sahara Martinez. The newcomer from La Verne, Calif., totaled 1,987 assists throughout her high school career and will help King in the rotation.

Defensive Specialists
On defense, UTEP returned sophomore Niki Cebak, who brought one year of experience after taking the court for 29 matches with 10 starting appearances. Cebak registered 150 digs in 2016 and will be joined by senior Dania Orozco. The El Paso native transferred to UTEP last season from New Mexico Military Institute and saw action in 23 matches, accumulating 50 digs. Freshman newcomer Abby Adams joined the group. The trio will work to fill Sarah Villa’s spot, who, as the starting libero in 2016, recorded 553 digs at 4.89 digs per set to lead Conference USA.

HITTING THE BOOKS
UTEP proved they were hitting the books as hard as the volleyballs when they were announced as a recipient of the 2016-17 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award in July. The award honors teams who have matched their dedication to the sport of volleyball with excellence in the classroom. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. The AVCA Team Academic Award, celebrating its 25th year, is the single largest award offered by quantity of schools, players and coaches honored. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but two, while amassing a 532 team increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award’s inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 822.

CONFERENCE HONORS
Three Miners were recognized by Conference USA for their efforts during the 2016 campaign. Lindsey Larson and Sarah Villa, both seniors last season, were named to the C-USA Second Team while Macey Austin earned a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team. Larson concluded her collegiate career as UTEP’s all-time leader in assists (2,677), service aces (71), total blocks (317) and block assists (292) while ranking second on the list in assists per set (6.17). Larson was also honored for her outstanding dedication in the classroom after being named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team for the third time. She sported a 3.93 GPA in civil engineering and was a regular member to UTEP’s Dean List and the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medalist list. Larson started in all 82 sets and is the only one in the league to notch a triple-double in 2016. Larson has registered a total of five triple-doubles on the season and 15 total double-doubles, the second-most in C-USA. Villa made her way to the list after denting the school record books for digs (1,369) and digs per set (3.71). Villa also holds the conference record for most digs in a match with 45. After a breakout year, Austin was named to the All-Freshman team and led the Miners in kills (280) and kills per set (2.64). With three years of collegiate eligibility left, Austin already ranks 10th on UTEP’s all-time kills list and fifth for kills per set. Austin will be anticipated to lead the Miners on the front court.

STUDENTS FIRST
Though 11 of 12 players were named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, three secured C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals for maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or greater. Lindsey Larson, Macey Austin and Briana Arellano received the medal, Larson for the third time and Austin and Arellano for the first. Larson was also named to the C-USA All-Academic team. The three were also starters for the Miners.

EL PASO’S VERY OWN
The 2017 roster features two players from El Paso—defensive specialist Dania Orozco and outside hitter Briana Arellano. Orozco is a 2014 Americas High School graduate and joined the team last season after transferring from New Mexico Military Institute, where she played for two years. The senior tallied 50 total digs last season and added a service ace and an assist. Arellano is a 2016 graduate from Canutillo High School and found immediate success as a freshman on the UTEP squad, knocking down 95 kills and picking up 220 digs, making her the leading defensive returner for the Miners.

AUSTIN’S POWER
After a breakout rookie year, sophomore Macey Austin will be anticipated to continue her dominance at the net. Austin led the team in kills (280) and racked up 2.64 kills per set in 106 sets played as a freshman last season. She also registered double-digit kills in 14 matches including a season-best 18 kills twice. For her efforts, Austin was named to the 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman Team. The six-foot Keller, Texas native ranks 10th on UTEP’s all-time list for kills.

RETURN TO THE ‘SHIP
The Miners earned a spot at the Conference USA Championships for the first time in two years last season, a feat they look to repeat in 2017. The team earned the eighth and final spot for the tournament, which paired them with top-seeded and eventual champion WKU, who swept the Miners. A year of experience later, however, the team now knows what it takes to make the tournament and what to expect. The Orange and Blue will return nine letterwinners from last year’s championship-bid team, including seven who saw action at the tournament.

FILLING THE VOID
Three key players, Lindsey Larson, Sarah Villa and Tatum Winter, were lost due to graduation. The Miners will now reload this year to fill the void. Senior Amanda King, who transferred to UTEP last season, will take over Larson’s setter position. King dished out 371 assists in 113 sets and added 18 kills and will look to add more in her leadership role. Niki Cebak and Dania Orozco will be in line to fill the libero spot left from Villa. Cebak played in 96 sets and picked up 150 digs, while Orozco played in 41 sets and tallied 50 digs. Abby Adams, a freshman, will also be in the runnings. Winter, a middle blocker, got help from juniors Kylie Baumgartner and Maddie Morgan. Baumgartner led the team in blocks for the second straight year with 111 (18s/93a) and Morgan added 30 to the mix. The pair will be joined by Mallory Yost, who comes to UTEP after recording 151 blocks during her high school career.

UTEP Volleyball Edged by Texas Tech in Five Set Thriller

The UTEP volleyball team, riding on the momentum from a loud home crowd, fell to Texas Tech 3-2 in a thrilling match that ended in extra points in the fifth set in Memorial Gym on Wednesday.

The Miners took set one 25-23, but dropped back-to-back sets 25-20 and 25-18 to the Red Raiders. The Miners had a huge comeback to take set four 25-23 and forced Texas Tech to extra points before ultimately falling 18-16.

“It was exciting because the fans had a lot of energy here, our team was giving out a lot of energy and we were fighting for every point,” head coach Holly Watts said. “Obviously we wanted the five-set match to go the other direction, a play here and there really makes a difference when it (fifth set) ends up 18-16.

“There were other sets that were two point sets that could have gone either way, one of those was ours and one of those was theirs, so something else could have happened. I’m just really so proud of the way they (UTEP) battled and fought and didn’t let anything get them down.”

The resilient UTEP squad racked up season-best totals of 61 kills, 56 assists, 53 digs and 26 block assists in the match. The Red Raiders’ totals were 72 kills, 63 assists, 66 digs, and 18 block assists and one solo block.

The Miner offense was led by Macey Austin, who hammered down 15 kills at a .265 clip with one block assist, Cheyenne Jones, who notched 13 kills with a .212 hitting percentage and five block assists, and Briana Arellano and Mallory Yost, who both recorded 10 kills. Arellano also tallied six digs, two service aces and two block assists while Yost, hitting at a .304 percentage, led the team in block assists with seven. Six-rotation player Amanda King was an all-around force for her team, dishing out 48 assists and notching six kills. The senior setter also three digs and teamed-up for six block assists.

Defensively, UTEP was paced by libero Niki Cebak with 17 digs while Ashley Grzebeniak added 10 of her own.

A blocking effort helped stop the Red Raiders, as the Miners teamed up with 26 block assists in the game.

“Defensive blocking is something that can really bring energy, it’s something that really kept us in some of the sets and helped us to battle back,” Watts said.

Set one began with Texas Tech blanking the Miners 6-0 before a kill by Jones put the Miners on the board. The Orange and Blue then capitalized on Red Raider errors with kills of their own, combined with four block assists to get within one point of Texas Tech, forcing them to take a timeout.

Another Jones kill right out of the timeout tied the set at 15. The two teams would tie one more time at 17-all, before a Miner push, led by two more Jones kills and a kill apiece by Arellano and Austin as well as a block assist from Maddie Morgan and Arellano, ended with a 25-23 set one victory.

The Red Raiders would get the best of the Miners in sets two and three, but the Miners kept fighting in set four, including climbing from a 11-5 deficient, to tie the game at 14 after consecutive service aces by Arellano and back-to-back block assists by freshman duo Jones and Yost.

With the momentum to their advantage, the Miners then began to work for the lead, allowing the Red Raiders to tie the set only twice more before the held a 21-17 advantage.

Five consecutive Texas Tech kills, however, evened the score at 22, but the Red Raider run was stopped by a service error and an Austin kill picked the Miners up 24-22. Texas Tech would answer back with a kill, but Austin put the period on set four with her third kill of the match, giving the Miners the 25-23 set  victory and forcing a fifth set.

The fifth set had Texas Tech in control at first, with the Red Raiders getting a 7-3 to force a UTEP timeout. Yost then came back on the court and stopped the run with a kill, but Tech’s Katy Keenan mirrored her with one of her own to keep the Miners down 8-4.

A block assist by Jones and Kylie Baumgartner, followed by a Texas Tech attack error, began the shootout for the lead by both teams. The teams would tie five times as they battled for the game victory, and at 15-all, Texas Tech’s Emily Hill, who had 14 kills for her team, would hammer one down to give the Red Raiders 16-15 advantage.

Not giving up, Arellano answered with a kill of her own to again tie the set at 16. It would be the last point for the Miners, as a UTEP service and attack error would end the set 18-16 and the match.

Despite the loss, Watts was pleased with her team’s grit in the five-set drama.

“It motivates us for tomorrow, and then tomorrow, and then tomorrow, so I think every time we can come out and put out our best effort and fight,” she said. “I think we battled for every point. We started in the hole sometimes and that part is a little frustrating so we’ve got to get better at coming from behind. I think we did a great job of battling for points and competing all the way through and not giving up. We were down a bit early and we just fought and fought and fought.”

The Miners will return to action Friday and Saturday in the first of two home tournaments, the Glory Road Invitational. The team will open the tournament with a meeting with New Mexico at 7:30 p.m. (MT) on Friday at Memorial Gym.

UTEP Volleyball Opens at Home Against Texas Tech

The UTEP volleyball team (0-2, 0-0 Conference USA) will play its home opener on Wednesday, Aug. 30, against Texas Tech (1-0, 0-0 Big 12). First serve at the historic Memorial Gym is set for 6 p.m. (MT).

The Miner squad gained a lot of experience at the North Texas Invitational this past weekend against very competitive Montana and Tulsa teams. The Miners went 0-2 in the invitational, but senior setter Amanda King had a stellar performance as a six-rotation player, racking up 45 assists, four kills, 10 digs and four total blocks.

The team also got strong showings from sophomores Macey Austin and Briana Arellano, who both had 13 kills to lead the team. Defensively, Arellano also had 10 digs. True freshman Cheyenne Jones also proved she was a force for the team in her collegiate debut, hammering down 12 kills while also picking up two digs and five total blocks.

In total, the Miners had 61 kills, 54 assists, 51 digs, 15 total blocks and five service aces in two games.

Texas Tech is coming off a 3-1 win over North Texas in their season opener. Sophomore transfer Emily Hill led the Red Raiders on offense with a double-double and a match-high of 17 kills and 11 digs, as well as four block assists and a couple of aces. Behind her was junior Sarah Redding with 14 kills.

Meanwhile, junior libero Reyn Akiu led the defense with a match-high of 21 digs. Junior Katy Keenan and freshman Allison White combined for eight block assists and three solo blocks. The Red Raiders hold a 22-3 record in program history against the Miners.

The UTEP team features only two seniors, King and defensive specialist Dania Orozco, but is loaded with three juniors, four sophomores and four freshman. Miner fans will get their first look at the team in regular season action, which includes 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman selection Austin, senior leader King, and El Pasoans Arellano and Orozco.

Team block leader Kylie Baumgartner will also put in work for the Miners, and freshmen Jones and Mallory Yost, who have already accumulated plenty of playing time, will contest for the first time in Memorial Gym.

The game day marketing promotion will be an “Orange Out” and fans are encouraged to wear orange to get in free.  Live stats will be available HERE.

UTEP (0-2) VS TEXAS TECH (1-0)

Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time: 6 p.m. (MT)

Admission: Wear orange and admission is free

Miner Notables: Amanda King (setter), Macey Austin (outside hitter), Briana Arellano (outside hitter), Kylie Baumgartner (middle blocker), Cheyenne Jones (outside hitter), Ashley Grzebeniak (outside hitter), Niki Cebak (defensive specialist/libero)

Red Raider Notables: Emily Hill (outside hitter), Sarah Redding (right-side hitter), Reyn Akiu (libero), Katy Keenan (middle blocker), Allison White (middle blocker).

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