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Home | Tag Archives: miners volleyball

Tag Archives: miners volleyball

UTEP Volleyball Turns Fortunes Around in 2019

Head coach Ben Wallis put together the best turnaround by a first-year coach in program history, taking the Miners from their five win 2018 season to 13 in 2019.

The Orange and Blue had a year they have not seen in quite some time. They made the conference tournament for the first time in three seasons, and had their highest finish in the conference standings since 2012.

“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. “They have also been very complimentary of how our year went. In most ways 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 it over.”

“I am disappointed in our record. I felt like when I looked at our schedule and roster that we could win 15 or 16 matches. We fell short of my personal goal and my staff’s goal. We never told the players that. We never asked them to meet a specific win number. But they set a goal and they set a number that they fell short of as well. To get to 13 wins and 15 losses against the schedule that we had is a success from where our program started,” Wallis added.

“I do wish we were able to knock off some of those really tough opponents like NM State, Pacific and Bakersfield. Those three losses stick out in my mind as opportunities that could have given us a truly unbelievable year. I am proud of what we put out there and the way we reshaped our program. We turned this team into 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.”

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. 2019 saw a more than 100-spot leap into the top 150.

The Orange and Blue won seven matches in non conference play, which was one more than the last two season combined. This was the first time they posted a non conference record above .500 since 2011.

Wallis and the Miners also boasted a winning record at home with a 6-3 record in historic Memorial Gym. This is the first winning record in the Sun City since 2013, where UTEP posted an identical .667 winning percentage.

“Our home attendance was something I was most proud of this season,” Wallis stated. “Our home attendance got 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. It also helped us win to have everyone there. 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 in the future that this will be a tough place for people to play.”

Cheyenne Jones made big improvements in her game under Wallis. The junior became just the fifth player in UTEP volleyball history to make the C-USA All-Conference second team. Jones posted career highs in kills (259), hitting percentage (.242), total blocks (74) and points (303.0).

Mallory Yost also had a career year, posting career bests in kills (198) and total blocks (90). The junior also increased her hitting percentage by .087 points, hitting .324 for the year.

Additionally, the Miners saw some history with the 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, and Serena Patterson was the first C-USA Offensive Player of the Week since 2013 for UTEP.

“To be able to get Cheyenne (Jones) on the all-conference team, and to have Serena (Patterson) and Irbe (Lazda) win conference players of the week was great,” Wallis said. “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 of the No. 21 team in the nation Rice Owls. This was the first set victory over a ranked opponent since 2001.

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

Cheyenne Jones Earns C-USA All-Conference Second Team Honors

DALLAS – UTEP volleyball’s Cheyenne Jones was named to the Conference USA All-Conference second team as announced by the league office Wednesday afternoon.

Jones becomes the fifth player in program history to be named to the C-USA All Conference second team. The last Miner to do so was Macey Austin, who was voted to the second team in 2017 and 2018.

“Cheyenne has tried really hard to re-invent herself as a volleyball player,” Head coach Ben Wallis said. “She’s grown as an attacker and has more tools in the tool bag now than she did eight months ago. She has grown most as a blocker. Putting the block numbers up that she put up this year is probably one of the reasons why she was able to make second team all conference, and for the most part Cheyenne led us in point scoring all year long. I’m proud of her making that team. I think she can continue to grow in the off-season also.”

“She learned and listened a lot in the springtime and she was able to grow as an attacker and blocker, that’s why she made second team. The two matches that she missed while she was out we certainly missed her. We missed her ability to stop people and her ability to score. We’re going to push her even harder in the spring to make her better for us in the fall, and I think is a great step for her as a volleyball player,” Wallis added.

This is the first conference honor for the Missoula, Montana, native. She leads the Miners with 249 kills, and has a .261 hitting percentage in conference play. The outside hitter is also second on the squad in blocks with 71.

Jones was on an absolute tear during the month of October and into November. The junior was hitting .418 with 75 kills, and the Miners were 5-1 in that stretch. The outside hitter put on a career performance against Southern Miss with 25 kills and five blocks with a scorching-hot .465 hitting percentage.

The outside hitter’s play has helped lead the Orange and Blue to their first conference tournament berth in three years. The Miners will play Rice on Friday, November 22 at 4 p.m. MT in Houston, Texas.

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

UTEP Volleyball heads to Houston for Conference Tournament

The UTEP volleyball team (13-14, 6-8) will travel to Houston, Texas, as the seventh seed in the Conference USA Tournament, and will take on Rice (24-2, 13-1) in the first round on Friday, November 22 at 4 p.m. MT.

The matches will be live streamed on ESPN+ and live stats will be provided as well.

The Orange and Blue cemented their spot in the conference tournament as the seventh seed, which is the highest finish since 2012. This is also the first conference tournament appearance for the Miners since 2016. UTEP will take on the second seeded Rice in the first round of the tourney.

This will be the third matchup between the two squads this season. If the Miners are victorious on Friday then they will play the winner of the North Texas and UTSA matchup on Saturday at 6 p.m. MT.

UTEP Volleyball has seen six different coaches since Norm Brandl took over the program in 1976. Every coach since then has posted a worse record then the year prior. However, Ben Wallis is excluded from that company. He has improved on last season’s win total by eight, and has the greatest turnaround by a first-year coach in program history.

UTEP has had a turnaround for the books. Last year the Miners won five matches and ranked 259 in the RPI. This season, the Orange and Blue have 13 wins and have improved their RPI to 144.

Serena Patterson was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after her performance against Marshall (10/25). She is the first offensive player of the week for the Miners since 2013 (Xitalili Herrera – 10/21/13). Patterson had 16 kills and recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 digs.

Cheyenne Jones was on an absolute tear during a six-match streak in conference. The junior was hitting .418 with 75 kills, and the Miners were 5-1 in that stretch. The outside hitter put on a career performance against Southern Miss with 25 kills and five blocks with a scorching-hot .465 hitting percentage.

The Orange and Blue won five matches all of last season. They have already more than doubled that mark with 13 victories. UTEP has also surpassed the Conference win total from 2018 (two) with six. During 2018 the Miners were victorious in only one match in Memorial Gym, and in 2019 they had six.

Redshirt freshman Kenidy Howard is leading the Miners during league play with 42 blocks, and is sixth in the league with 1.02 blocks per set.

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.

UTEP Volleyball falls to Rice in regular season finale

The UTEP volleyball team (13-14, 6-8) fell to No. 21 Rice (24-2, 13-1) in three sets (16-25, 13-25, 12-25), 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym.

UTEP was led by Kristen Fritsche, who posted a team-high 12 assists. Kenidy Howard and Mallory Yost led the attack with five kills each.

The Miners were going toe-to-toe with Rice to begin the first set. The score was 17-15 in favor of the visitors, when the Owls strung together five-straight points. Rice rode that momentum to a 25-16 set victory.

The Owls came out hot after the break, scoring the first six points of the second frame. The Orange and Blue were unable to inch any closer, falling to Rice, 25-13.

The Owls finished put the match with a 25-12 victory in the third game.

With Middle Tennessee winning its match and Charlotte losing today, the Miners are locked into the seventh seed for the Conference USA Tournament.

UTEP will play against Rice on Friday, November 22 at a time that will be announced by the league sometime today. This will be the third meeting between the two teams this season, and is the highest finish in the conference standings since 2012 for the Miners.

Next up, the Orange and Blue will travel to the C-USA Tournament to take on Rice on Friday, November 22 in Houston, Texas.

C-USA Tournament bound Miners return home to face No. 21 Rice

The UTEP volleyball team (13-13, 6-7) punched its ticket to the Conference USA Tournament on Thursday night, and will take on No. 21 Rice (23-2, 12-2) Saturday at 12 p.m., at Memorial Gym.

Although the Miners fell to Charlotte Thursday evening, the losses from UAB and Middle Tennessee helped UTEP clinch its first C-USA tournament berth since 2016.

The Orange and Blue will be looking to secure the seventh seed with a victory over No. 21 Rice on “Senior Day”. UTEP took the Owls to five sets last season at home, and in 2017 defeated them under the lights of Memorial Gym.

Head Coach Ben Wallis has brought UTEP volleyball its most wins since 2013, the most conference victories since 2016, first ever C-USA Freshman of the Week and now the first conference tourney trip in three years.

UTEP is 6-2 at home this season, and will look to give its five seniors another victory at Memorial before heading to Houston, Texas, for a shot at the C-USA crown.

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

UTEP Volleyball drops match at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The UTEP volleyball team (13-13, 6-7) fell to Charlotte (16-14, 5-8) in three sets (12-25, 25-27, 22-25), 3-0, on Thursday evening at Halton Arena.

The Miners still sit in sole possession of seventh place in the conference standings. If UAB (12-13, 4-8) and Middle Tennessee (12-15, 5-7) both lose tonight, then UTEP will clinch its first Conference USA tournament berth since 2016.

Cheyenne Jones led the way for the Miners with a game-high 15 kills. Erika Sianez produced 22 digs, while Mallory Yost locked in another efficient outing with a .368 hitting percentage.

The 49ers took the first frame in convincing fashion by the score of 25-12.

Jones would enter the second set on fire, scoring eight kills to lead UTEP in the game. The Miners were up 24-23, but ultimately fell to Charlotte, 27-25, after a late run by the home team.

Charlotte carried that momentum into the third frame, jumping out to a 17-13 lead. UTEP would respond, scoring five straight to take an 18-17 advantage. However, the 49ers dug deep and took the set, 25-22, and match in straight sets.

Next up, the Miners will play Rice on Saturday, November 16 at 12 p.m. MT. UTEP will honor five seniors at the conclusion of the match.

UTEP Volleyball looks to clinch C-USA Tournament Berth

The UTEP volleyball team (13-12, 6-6) will travel to Charlotte (15-14, 4-8) on Thursday at 4 p.m. MT, and will host No. 21 Rice (22-2, 11-1) for “Senior Day” on Saturday at 12 p.m. MT.

As Saturday is “Senior Day” for the Miners, the team will recognize Briana Arellano, Erika Sianez, Priscilla Sanchez, Niki Cebak and Macey Austin for their contributions to UTEP Volleyball.

The 49ers are looking to make a final push at the conference tournament this weekend. If they are to run the table, winning their final two matches, then they have a shot at making it to Houston. Yumi Garcia is Charlotte’s star libero. The senior has 686 digs and a staggering 6.66 digs per set.

Rice is coming off of a ranked matchup with WKU, where it fell in an epic five set war. In the latest polls, the Owls are ranked No. 21 nationally. Nicole Lennon will lead the team into El Paso, Texas, being the front-runner for conference player of the year. She has 390 kills and has won Conference USA Player of the Week on seven different occasions.

The top eight teams in Conference USA make the post-season tournament, and the Miners currently sit at seventh with a 6-6 league record. The Orange and Blue can punch their ticket to the C-USA tourney with a victory at Charlotte on Thursday. UTEP’s seeding could vary from the sixth spot to the eighth, which is dependent on what occurs in the final weekend of play.

The Miners appear to be getting hot at the right time. They are on a three-match winning streak, and are 6-2 in their last eight conference games.

The Orange and Blue, with one more victory, will clinch the most conference wins since 2014 (seven), and their first winning season since 2012.

Cheyenne Jones has been on an absolute tear during her last six conference matches. The junior is hitting .418 with 75 kills, and the Miners are 5-1 in this stretch. The outside hitter put on a career performance against Southern Miss with 25 kills and five blocks with a scorching-hot .465 hitting percentage.

The Orange and Blue won five matches all of last season. They have already more than doubled that mark with 13 victories. UTEP has also surpassed the conference win total from 2018 (two) with six.

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

The matches will be live streamed at CUSA.tv and live stats will be available as well against Charlotte and at home.

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.

 

Mallory Yost leads Miners past North Texas

Mallory Yost led UTEP Volleyball (13-12, 6-6) past North Texas (15-10, 9-4) in four sets (26-24, 21-25, 25-16, 25-16), 3-1, with nine kills and seven blocks on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gym.

Yost locked in a scorching hot .571 hitting percentage and a season-high seven blocks, helping the Miners inch closer to its first Conference USA Tournament berth since 2016.

The Orange and Blue currently sit in sole possession of seventh place in the league. With a victory in either of their last two matches, UTEP will officially punch its ticket to Houston, Texas.

This is the first time since 2013 where the Miners have had two three-match winning streaks in the same season.

North Texas had been an incredibly efficient offensive team, hitting .233 as a squad this year. UTEP held the Mean Green to just .112 in that department, due in part to the stellar blocking and strong play from Erika Sianez at libero. UTEP also erased North Texas’s hopes of having an undefeated road record in conference play.

Kristen Fritsche produced a double-double for the Miners with a team-high 22 assists and 11 digs. Kenidy Howard tallied nine kills, and had three blocks. Cheyenne Jones added nine kills in just 21 swings, and also helped out with two blocks. Serena Patterson notched a team-high 10 kills.

The first set against the Mean Green was a highly contested affair. There were 15 ties in the frame and seven lead changes. The two squads were locked up at 24-24, when Yost and Patterson broke the tie with a vicious block. Anamarija Mikovic earned the set for the Miners with an ace on the very next serve, 26-24.

The Mean Green got the better of UTEP in the next game, winning the set 25-21 to even up the set count, 1-1.

However, the Orange and Blue did not allow North Texas to build any momentum off of that victory. They would claim the next two frames in convincing fashion with a pair of 25-16 wins.

Coach Wallis’s Thoughts:

“You know I am extremely proud of my team again for the effort they showed. We executed against a team that has two of the best arms in the conference. Valerian is probably an All-American, because she has the ability to go up over the top of you. She got 26 of their points on her own. She is a complete stud, but the fact of the matter is that we held her in check when we needed to. We made some big digs on bombs from her. I had enough faith in our kids that we could wear her out by digging her attacks. Mallory (Yost) was a beast again. Serena (Patterson) wasn’t playing very well offensively, but then she just got hot. She stayed emotionally in it, which we have been working on with her. I am extremely proud of my team and I am going to enjoy it with these guys.”

Next up, the Miners will play at Charlotte on Thursday, November 14 at 4 p.m. MT.

Miner Match Notes

>> Most conference victories since 2013 (seven)

>> First time the Miners have had two three-match winning streaks in the same season since 2013

Miners pick up conference victory against Middle Tennessee

The UTEP volleyball team (12-12, 5-6) defeated Middle Tennessee (12-14, 5-6) in four sets (25-22, 25-16, 15-25, 25-15), 3-1, Friday evening at Memorial Gym.

The Miners ended Middle Tennessee’s five-match winning streak in dominating fashion on their home court. The two teams are now tied for seventh place in the Conference-USA standings, with UTEP owning the head-to-head tiebreaker.

UTEP’s middle blockers, Mallory Yost and Kenidy Howard, were unstoppable for the Miners.

Yost posted 11 kills on a .429 hitting clip, and Howard added eight kills on an even more efficient .533 hitting percentage. Howard also led the squad with five total blocks, two of which being solos.

Cheyenne Jones turned in another strong outing for the Orange and Blue. The junior tallied a team-high 13 kills in just 26 swings. Erika Sianez was strong at the libero position, racking up 13 digs and making crisp passes to her setters.

Syenna Masaki set the tone for the offense with 25 assists.

UTEP was all over the Blue Raiders in the first two sets of the match. It saw accurate passes and sets that led to strong kills from the outsides and middles.

At the net, Howard and Yost were huge, but Anamarija Mikovic also added to the stifling defense with five blocks of her own.

The first frame was locked up at 20-20, but the Miners pulled away, outscoring Middle Tennessee 5-2 to take the set. UTEP took a two-set advantage, after a convincing 25-16 victory in the second game.

The Blue Raiders got back on the right track in the third set, winning by a score of 25-15. However, this would be short lived as the Orange and Blue would dominate the fourth frame. Izela Alvarez capped off the victory from the service line, serving rocket after rocket until the match was won, 25-15, by the Miners.

“Really proud of my group. That is one of the hottest teams in the conference. They have won five out of their last five conference matches. They have been playing great. We did a lot from the service line to bother them,” Head Coach Ben Wallis said.  “That is the best passing team in the conference by a lot. They pass it better than everybody. We really won this game from the service line. It helped with our attitude and defensive temperament.”

“We didn’t block as well as I would have liked, but we blocked it well enough to win. Some of our attackers didn’t really have it going their way tonight, but Mallory (Yost) and Kenidy (Howard) were really good. I don’t think Middle Tennessee expected us to set our middles as much as we did. Cheyenne (Jones) was great again. She was really solid out-of-system when we needed her. Zel (Alvarez) was great there at the end from the service line. She was rocketing bullets back there, and when you get a kid going like that, you feel pretty good about winning the match. That is a good Middle Tennesse team, and we earned our ability to get into seventh place right now. I am proud of our victory tonight over a really good team,” Wallis added.

Friday’s win marks the most conference victories in a season for UTEP since 2016.  Next up, the Miners will play at home against North Texas on Sunday Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. MT.

UTEP Volleyball to host two conference matches

The UTEP volleyball team (11-12, 4-6) will host Middle Tennessee (12-13, 5-5) on Friday at 6 p.m. MT, and North Texas (15-8, 9-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. MT.

The Blue Raiders are currently on a five-match winning streak, and are one match ahead of the Miners in the Conference USA standings. Dora Peonia leads the squad with 306 kills, with a .204 hitting percentage. Taylor Hammill has locked in 10.08 assists per set, and Mikaela Weidmann has a team-high 85 blocks.

North Texas is one of three teams to have already punched its ticket to the C-USA tournament. The Mean Green sits third atop the league with a 9-2 record in conference. Valerie Valerian has helped lead them to this point, amassing 372 kills on the year.

The top eight teams in Conference USA make the post-season tournament, and the Miners currently sit at eighth in the standings with a 4-6 league record.

Historically, six conference wins will get a team into the tournament. UTEP has three home matches left on the schedule, and are 4-2 in its last six contests. The Orange and Blue seems to be playing some of their best volleyball of the season, and are poised to make the C-USA tourney for the first time in three years.

Cheyenne Jones is second on the team with 210 kills this season. On the road against Southern Miss Jones recorded a new career high in kills (25), and hit the eighth-best hitting percentage (.465) for a five-set match in school history. She produced 24 kills versus UIW earlier in the year.

Against Houston at the Red Raider Classic she locked in 17 kills on a .429 hitting clip, helping boost the Miners to a comeback victory. This season she has improved on her hitting percentage from last year (.186), posting a .251 hitting clip.

Serena Patterson was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after her performance against Marshall (10/25). She is the first offensive player of the week for the Miners since 2013 (Xitalili Herrera – 10/21/13). Patterson had 16 kills and recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 digs.

The Orange and Blue won five matches all of last season. They have already more than doubled that mark with 11 victories. UTEP has also surpassed the Conference win total from 2018 (two) with four. During 2018 the Miners were victorious in only one match in Memorial Gym, and in 2019 they have four.

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).

UTEP has locked in five sweeps this season. This is the most by the Orange and Blue since the 2013 campaign where the Miners had nine.

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.

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

Cheyenne Jones’s 25 Kills Powers Miners Past Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG, Ms. – Cheyenne Jones led the UTEP volleyball team (11-12, 4-6) over Southern Miss (2-23, 0-10) in five sets (25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 27-29, 15-12), 3-2, with 25 kills on Sunday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum.

Jones’s 25 kills is a career high for the junior. She was incredibly efficient as well, racking up those kills in just 42 swings for a .476 hitting percentage. The outside hitter also led the team total blocks with six in the five-set epic.

Mallory Yost posted the second-most kills (17) for the Miners, and Alianza Darley followed behind with 11. Erika Sianez came in strong at libero with a team-high 21 digs. Kristen Fritsche tallied 38 assists, and Sophia Chacon added 24 to the effort.

The Miners were in control of the first set from the jump, behind the arm of Jones, who locked in 6 kills in the frame. UTEP held an 18-11 advantage at one point, and eventually claimed the first game, 25-21, to seize early momentum.

The two squads were in a closely combative second set with the score tied at 18-18. The Golden Eagles would take a two-point lead, 20-18, but the Miners would respond to tie it up. UTEP once again let two points slip through their fingers, and once again they responded, taking the next five points to earn the second game, 25-22.

The Orange and Blue found themselves down 19-11 to the home team. The Miners chipped away and chipped away until they finally tied the set up after an ace from Sianez. However, the late rally would come up short, as the Golden Eagles would take the next two points to take the set, 26-24.

Once again UTEP was in a hole late, as it was down 19-13. The Miners went on a 7-1 run that tied the set at 20-20. The two teams saw seven ties after that, and UTEP faced set point on four different occasions. However, the Orange and Blue’s late rally would again come up short, as Southern Miss took the frame, 29-27.

The Orange and Blue came out hot in the fifth set, racing out to an 8-3 lead. Southern Miss made a late push, but Jones put the exclamation point on the day with a match-clinching kill.

Wallis’s Thoughts

“Southern Miss got excited and hot in the third set by just hitting the ball hard and squeaking the ball through our blocks. We have been working hard at the blocking stuff, but we are young as blockers and just don’t understand where our hands need to be sometimes. Blocking is the hardest skill in volleyball to teach, and it is the hardest skill to learn as well. We are young so there will be some ebbs and flows throughout the season as blockers. We knew that their middles were good. They are little, but have great arms. We had a game plan for them, but we didn’t execute it very well. We had to sit a couple of players today, and so we had to put a new lineup out there. This is our seventh or eighth new lineup in the past seven or eight games. We stayed with it though and we concentrated on making plays. We lost two close sets, but when it counted and mattered we outperformed and outscored them. We got some time in there for Sophia (Chacon) another freshman. Alianza Darley we put in the middle for the first time all year, and she got 11 kills on 19 swings and blocked four balls. Really though Cheyenne (Jones) was the big factor. She blocked six balls and had 25 kills. We kept going to her and she kept finding ways to get kills out of system. It was great to have her back. We got a team effort today, so I am proud of my group to get the W today. Erika (Sianez) stepped up as the libero and got 21 digs in about three sets, and helped us get the victory. Kristen (Fritsche) was a monster though. She was great as a teammate and from a leadership standpoint. I don’t know if we win the game if we don’t get a really solid effort from her.”

Next up, the Miners will play home against Middle Tennessee on Friday Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. MT.

Miner Volleyballers fall to No. 23 WKU

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The UTEP volleyball team (10-12, 3-6) fell to No. 23 WKU (24-1, 10-0) in three sets (13-25, 19-25, 17-25), 3-0, on Friday evening at Diddle Arena.

Serena Patterson and Kenidy Howard both recorded three blocks each for the match. Syenna Masaki produced a team-high 12 assists, and Kristen Fritsche was close behind with 11.  Nine different Miners recorded a kill

The Lady Toppers came out strong against the Miners, opening action on an 11-3 run. They would never look back and claimed the first frame, 25-13.

However, the second set was a different story. The Orange and Blue stood toe-to-toe with WKU, forcing 11 ties until the score was tied at 14-14.

The Lady Toppers would end up taking the next four points and the set, 25-19, but UTEP showed they could hang with nationally ranked squad.

WKU defended its home court and defeated UTEP, 25-17, in the third frame to claim victory.

Next up, the Miners will play at Southern Miss on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. MT.

UTEP Volleyball hits the road for two Conference Matches

The UTEP volleyball team (10-11, 3-5) will hit the road to take on No. 23 WKU (23-1, 9-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. MT, and Southern Miss (1-22, 0-9) on Sunday at 11 a.m. MT.

The Lady Toppers are rolling into the weekend on a 19-match winning streak and are ranked No. 23 in the nation. In that span they hold a 57-5 set advantage over their opponents.

Paige Briggs has helped lead WKU to the best winning percentage in America (.958), being named Conference USA Freshman of the Week five times on the year. Lauren Matthews has been a force on offense, amassing over 320 kills and 4.05 kills per set.

Southern Miss is on an eight-match losing streak, and has yet to win a conference match this season. It has only won nine sets out of its 77 this season. Gillian Hidalgo has the most kills for the Golden Eagles with 146.

Serena Patterson was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week this past weekend after her performance against Marshall. She is the first offensive player of the week for the Miners since 2013 (Xitalili Herrera – 10/21/13).

Patterson had 16 kills and recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 digs.

Patterson has been on a tear over the past four matches. The sophomore has accumulated 47 kills on a .345 hitting percentage. During these four matches the Miners are 3-1, and are poised to make a run at making the conference tournament.

The Orange and Blue won five matches all of last season. They have already doubled that mark with 10 victories. UTEP has also surpassed the Conference win total from 2018 (two) with three.

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

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).

The matches will be live streamed at CUSA.tv, and WKU and Southern Miss will provide live stats as well.

UTEP’s Serena Patterson wins C-USA offensive Player of the Week

DALLAS – UTEP volleyball’s Serena Patterson was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week by the league office on Monday afternoon after her performance against Marshall.

This is the first conference honor for the outside hitter, and the first offensive player of the week for UTEP since 2013 (Xitlali Herrera – 10/21/13).

“Serena (Patterson) has really grown as an attacker in the past two months, and the game is starting to slow down for her,” Head Coach Ben Wallis said. “I’m proud of her growth, and I tell her all the time that she’s just scratching the surface of what she can be. There was not a six rotation outside hitter here when my staff got here. Because of the way the roster is constructed we have forced her into that role, and she is starting to understand the complexities of what it takes to play the position at a high level.”

The sophomore was dominant against the Thundering Herd, posting 16 kills and boosting the Miners to a sweep over Marshall.

Patterson was hyper efficient with her swings, as she produced a .325 hitting percentage on 40 swings. She also recorded her sixth double-double of the season, adding a team-high 13 digs to her stat line.

The Red Oak, Texas, native joins Irbe Lazda as Miners who have earned conference recognition this season.

“This is not only a testament to the hard work that our staff has put in trying to grow her as a volleyball player,” Wallis stated. “More importantly it is testament to the work she’s put in learning by watching the video, getting in the reps in practice and fixing her struggles to understand how to score when there’s two people in front of her, which is what the great outsiders have to do. As long as she matches her athleticism with the learning and leans on her teammates to get her through the tough times she will be great. Being an outside hitter is sometimes like a cornerback in football. You’re on an island by yourself and you just have to sort through the pressure in the stress of it, and she’s doing much better job of that this year.”

Patterson has been a force over the past four matches. She has 47 kills on a .345 hitting clip, and the Miners are 3-1 in this span. Her 3.62 kills per set and scorching-hot hitting percentage has taken the Miners offense to a new level.

UTEP travels to take on No. 23 WKU (23-1, 9-0) and Southern Miss (1-22, 0-9) this weekend. The Orange and Blue will be looking to the reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week to help give them the edge.

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.

Patterson’s 16 Kills lift Miners to victory

The UTEP volleyball team (10-11, 3-5) swept Marshall (12-9, 3-5) in three sets (25-19, 25-20, 25-23), 3-0, behind Serena Patterson’s 16 kills on Friday evening at Memorial Gym.

Patterson was dominant for the Orange and Blue with 16 kills on a .325 hitting clip. The sophomore also racked up 13 digs for a double-double.

Anamarija Mikovic locked in double-digit kills with 10. Freshman Alianza Darley hit .667 on the night with eight kills. Syenna Masaki produced a double-double for UTEP with 17 assists and 10 digs.

Defensively, Kenidy Howard shouldered the workload with a team-high five blocks.

UTEP found itself down 12-7 early in the first set. However, a block by Mikovic and Mallory Yost sparked a 10-0 run. The Miners never looked back, and took the set, 25-19.

The second frame was all knotted up at 9-9 when Izela Alvarez gave the edge to UTEP with some aggressive serving. The 3-0 run may have seemed small, but it gave all of the momentum to the Miners the rest of the way. Patterson capped off the set, 25-20, with a vicious kill off a beautiful ball from Masaki.

The score was tied at 4-4 in the third set, but a 17-minute delay occurred due to a lighting issue in Memorial Gym. Despite the stoppage-of-play, the Miners stayed strong in the frame. The Thundering Herd took a 23-22 lead late, but UTEP was unrelenting.

Jessica Landeros came up huge with a kill to tie the game, and then she got in on a huge block with Howard to take a one-point lead, 24-23. Mikovic would complete the sweep with one of her five kills in the set.

Next up, the Miners will play at WKU on Sunday, November 1 at 5 p.m. MT.

Notes

>> First double-digit win season since 2013

>> First time the Miners have complete two-conference sweeps in a season since 2013

>>UTEP has doubled its win total from last season

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