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Home | Tag Archives: utep volleyball

Tag Archives: utep volleyball

UTEP Volleyball’s Alianza Darley guests on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast”

UTEP volleyball sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Alianza Darley is the guest on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast” with “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher.

As a freshman last year, Darley payed in 90 sets and 24 matches, while making 10 starts.  She posted the fifth-most kills (132) on the team and led all Miner freshmen in kills.

Darley ranked fourth on the squad in blocks (54.0), turned in three double-digit kill performances and locked in a career-high 12 kills against No. 21 Rice during the first round of the C-USA Tournament.

She has also been named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for 2020 and earned the  Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal.

Earlier this week, the 2020 UTEP Volleyball home schedule was released and, for the first time, fans can purchase season tickets to ensure that they’ll be there for every exciting moment as the Miners take the floor.

The “Picks Up Podcast,” that airs weekly online, takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else.  Special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni.

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

2020 UTEP Volleyball home schedule announced; Season Tickets on sale now

Tuesday morning, UTEP officials released the 2020 Miner Volleyball home schedule and, for the first time, fans can purchase season tickets.

“I’m really excited about our 2020 home slate of matches,” Wallis said.  “We inherited a road-heavy schedule in our first season last year but we performed very well at home, securing top-100 wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Marshall and North Texas.  Our roster is much deeper and more athletic this year and I think we have what it takes, with our returning talent and eight new players, to be a force in Conference USA this season.”

UTEP will launch its home slate with its own I-10 Challenge Aug. 28-29 in El Paso.  The Miners will host Tulane, Incarnate Word and New Mexico in the two-day event at the Don Haskins Center.

“We’re really excited to wrap up the four-year I-10 rivalry tournament here in El Paso at the Don Haskins Center opening weekend,” Wallis said.  “We were able to add New Mexico to the field, which is something that (Lobos coach) Jon Newman-Gonchar and I have been pretty adamant about since he got hired last year as well.  We want that I-25 rivalry renewed each season.”

The remainder of the Miners’ home matches will be played at historic Memorial Gym.  The following weekend (Sept. 4-6), UTEP will serve as co-host of the Borderland Invitational with NM State.  The Miners will face off against UT Arlington, Abilene Christian and the arch-rival Aggies.

The Miners will kick off their Conference USA slate on Saturday, Sept. 26 when they host UTSA.  It will mark the first of three straight C-USA home matches with North Texas (Oct. 2) and Rice (Oct. 4) scheduled to come to El Paso the following weekend.

The Miners will return home to host Old Dominion (Oct. 16) and Charlotte (Oct. 18) in a weekend set sandwiched between a pair of road series.

UTEP’s conference home schedule will wrap up the last weekend of October as the Miners will host Florida Atlantic (Oct. 30) and FIU (Nov. 1).

“What I really like about our conference schedule is that we have several of the top teams at home, including UTSA, North Texas and Rice right off the bat,” Wallis said.  “Conference USA is a top-10 volleyball conference so everybody will be tough to beat, but we’re excited to have several of the top teams playing here in El Paso and having to deal with our rowdy fans.  We finished third in the conference in attendance last year and I’m hoping we can get in the top-two this season, especially with our great slate of matches!”

The Miners’ home slate will come to a close on Nov. 24 when they play host to NM State for a second time on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Wallis and company put together the best turnaround by a first-year staff in program history a year ago, as the Miners went from five wins in 2018 to 13 victories in 2019.

Additionally, the Miners advanced to the C-USA Championships for the first time in three seasons, and had their highest finish in the conference standings since the 2012 campaign.

Wallis and the Miners also registered a 6-3 mark in Memorial Gym, their first winning mark in the Sun City in six years.

Wallis and the Miners will enter the 2020 campaign with a more experienced roster.  UTEP returns 12 players who saw action a season ago, including standouts Cheyenne Jones, Irbe Lazda and Serena Patterson.  Jones was a second team All-Conference USA performer last season, and Lazda was one of the top freshmen in the conference prior to sustaining a season-ending injury.

The full 2020 UTEP volleyball schedule will be announced on a later date.

Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing tickets@utep.edu, or by going online.

Tickets are just $60 for adults and $35 for youth and gain entry to all 14 home matches.

All seats are general admission.  Single-match ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 3-12).  Fans can save 46 percent off the single-match adult prices and 50 percent off the single-match youth prices by purchasing a season ticket.

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

2020 UTEP Volleyball Home Schedule

Date                Opponent                                Location                                  Time

Aug. 28            TULANE ^                                Don Haskins Center                10 a.m.

                        INCARNATE WORD ^              Don Haskins Center                4:30 p.m.

Aug. 29            NEW MEXICO ^                       Don Haskins Center                3 p.m.

Sept. 4             UT ARLINGTON#                     Memorial Gym                        10 a.m.

                        ABILENE CHRISTIAN#             Memorial Gym                        5 p.m.

Sept. 6             NM STATE#                             Memorial Gym                        3 p.m.

Sept. 26           UTSA*                                     Memorial Gym                        1 p.m.

Oct. 2              NORTH TEXAS*                       Memorial Gym                        6 p.m.

Oct. 4              RICE*                                       Memorial Gym                        12 p.m.

Oct. 16            OLD DOMINION*                    Memorial Gym                        6 p.m.

Oct. 18            CHARLOTTE*                          Memorial Gym                        12 p.m.

Oct. 30            FLORIDA ATLANTIC*               Memorial Gym                        6 p.m.

Nov. 1              FIU*                                        Memorial Gym                        12 p.m.

Nov. 24            NM STATE                               Memorial Gym                        1 p.m.

 

All times MT

* Indicates C-USA match

^ I-10 Challenge

# Borderland Invitational

UTEP’s Arellano earns Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship

UTEP Volleyball’s Briana Arellano was named a 2020 Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, it was announced by Conference USA on Thursday.

The senior is one of 14 student-athletes to receive this honor. The 12th annual award is named in honor of Dr. Jim Castañeda who served Rice for 46 years as an educator, coach and Faculty Athletics Representative before he passed away in 2008.

Every season, C-USA grants the $4,000 scholarship to distinguished graduates selected by the league’s Faculty Athletics Representatives and approved by the Board of Directors.

Arellano is a four-time C-USA Honor Roll selection and has been awarded the Commissioner’s Academic Medal three times in her time with the Miners. The El Paso native earned her undergraduate degree in biology this past December and is now planning to pursue a career in occupational therapy.

Over the course of her four-year career with the Miners, Arellano played in 105 matches, while starting 65 of those contests for UTEP. She saw action in 339 sets in four seasons and was named a team captain as a junior in 2018.

On the court, she recorded 422 kills and tallied 630 digs in her UTEP career, while Arellano also led the Miners with 28 aces during her sophomore campaign in 2017.

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 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 Athletics “Picks Up Podcast” premieres

The brand-new “Picks Up Podcast” made its debut Thursday on UTEP Athletics’ official website.

The “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else.  Hosted by long-time “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher, “Picks Up Podcast” kicks off with a visit from Jim Senter who, like his fellow collegiate Athletic Directors, is navigating unique and challenging times due to the onset of COVID-19.

“I look forward to sharing additional Miner content in a new form with those who enjoy UTEP Athletics,” Teicher said.

The “Picks Up Podcast” will air weekly online, with special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni.

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 Summer Team Camps

UTEP Volleyball and head coach Ben Wallis unveil the team summer camp offerings for the El Paso and southwest region.

“We are really looking forward to our two team camp and individual offerings this year,” Wallis said. “Last year we had a team tournament that got 28 teams in the span of a couple of months after we got hired. We are going to redo that team tournament. It was very competitive last year, so we are going to be able to offer our high school coaches from around the region two different opportunities.”

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

The sessions will occur on July 10-12. The cost of the camp will be $500 per team ($600 after April 1) with a maximum of 12 players per team. The camp will have a limit of 28 teams that will be allowed to sign up.

The UTEP Team Tournament is going to be of the most competitive summer tournaments in the region. It will feature teams from across the south west region, coming to compete for three days in a double pool play and bracket style tournament on the final day. They will break the teams into two divisions after the first day of pool play, and will whittle the teams down to one eventual champion on Sunday.

“The first opportunity will be a tournament where it will just be play, Wallis said. “Every team will come and we will put them in pools, building up to a bracket and a champion on Sunday.”

UTEP Volleyball will also offer the opportunity to teams across the southwest region to come and be trained in systematic approaches and tactics.

“This year we will also offer our I.T.C.,” Wallis explained. “Which is our instruction and training camp. We will bring coaches and their teams and we will train their teams for four days. We will give them opportunities to play, and develop their systems right. This will help them leading up to their seasons. We will give the El Paso and coaches from all over the opportunity to come here. We will train these teams and give them the chance to learn different tactics and systematic approaches. This will set those teams up for great success for the beginning of August.”

The camp will be from July 27-30, and payment information is available on the website. If you have and questions please contact coach Wallis via email at bkwallis@utep.edu.

These camps are open to and all entrants, limited only by number, grade level and/or gender.

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 inks Paulina Perez Rosas

Head coach Ben Wallis and UTEP Volleyball approach the end of 2019 with the signing of Paulina Perez Rosas.

Perez Rosas will be joining the UTEP family after a two-year stint at UCF. While at UCF, the Puerto Rico native was a part of two conference championship teams.

“We are excited to bring Paulina on board,” Wallis said. “We are mostly excited because she is a prototypical six-rotation outside hitter. In baseball they have five-tool players, well she is a five-tool player. That is a great for our group because we will have a player that can help in all phases of the game, which is important at the college volleyball level. She comes from a really good program at UCF that went to the NCAA tournament this year. She has been training around really good athletes these past two years, and she sat behind two really impeccable outside hitters. She is going to get a chance to compete right away on our roster. We are also very excited that she will be joining us in January. This will give us a chance to train her in our system before she has to play in a real college volleyball game. While we were recruiting her we could tell that she has some moxie and a chip on her shoulder. That is something we really need in our program. I am looking forward to working with her and so are our players. When she came on her visit she got along really well with our group. She chose the Miners and our team over a few other schools that were recruiting her, so we are fired up to get her on board.”

Before beginning her collegiate career she competed for her country on the national stage. The outside hitter is a five-time selection to the Puerto Rican national team, and was the captain of the U15 and U18 squads.

She helped guide Puerto Rico to a fourth-place finish at the NORCECA U20 Pan American Cup in 2017, where she finished 25th in scoring. Perez Rosas also led Puerto Rico in scoring at the NORCECA U18 Pan American Cup in 2016.

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 online.

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.

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