• January 23, 2022
 UTEP Volleyball (2W) to Open C-USA Championships Against FIU (3E)

UTEP Volleyball Amin+Darley

UTEP Volleyball (2W) to Open C-USA Championships Against FIU (3E)

No. 2 seed (West) UTEP volleyball (20-6, 8-4 Conference USA) will face off against No. 3 seed (East) FIU (9-12, 6-6 C-USA) in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament Friday, November 19, at 5 p.m. MT in Norfolk, Virginia. 

The match will be live streamed on ESPN+, with live stats available.

“We are excited. We are ready. We are prepared,” head coach Ben Wallis said. “Now it’s about three really important components: emotional control, execution, and competition. It’s all about those three things. I think the most important of the three is the emotional component.

“We’re focused on the EQ of the team this time of year,” Wallis said. “And being able to control their emotions, understand how to deal with the stress and pressure, and to not fall apart because things get hard. There’s a lot of teams that start getting out of character when they get pressured.”

Hitting with Consistency
UTEP has hit .300 or better 12 times total on the season, including five matches higher than .350. The opposition has only topped .300 twice in 26 contests on the campaign. Six Miners are swinging better than .250 on the year. Vittoria Price (.450) continues to lead the team among players with at least 75 kills.

Block Party
The Miners registered a season-high 14 blocks in the 3-0 win against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 9. UTEP has posted at least 10 blocks in 10 matches this season. Alianza Darley (90), Vittoria Price (79), Kenidy Howard (78), and Ema Uskokovic (61) each have tallied at least 50 total blocks to lead the charge.

Miner Rankings
Out of 332 ranked teams, the Miners are in the top 50 in eight categories in the NCAA and are setting historic program numbers.

Rankings 

  1. Hitting Percentage (.280, 2ndC-USA)
  2. Kills per Set (13.98, 3rdC-USA)
  3. Team Kills (1,426, 1stC-USA)
  4. Team Service Aces (174, 1stC-USA)
  5. Match W-L Percentage (0.769, 3rdC-USA)
  6. Team Assists (1,286, 1stC-USA)
  7. Assists per Set (12.61, 3rdC-USA)
  8. Aces per Set (1.71, 2ndC-USA)

UTEP has three players ranked top 10 in four different categories in the conference: Hande Yetis is fourth in aces per set (0.36) and Serena Patterson is 10th in kills per set (3.35).

Alyssa Sianez moved up in rank in two categories: third in total digs (428) and sixth in digs per set (4.20).

“We’re built better this year. We’re more athletic,” Wallis said. “We’re more skilled and I think we have challenged ourselves in our schedule this year to play teams like Arizona and NM State.” Scouting FIU
FIU is 9-12 (6-6 C-USA) on the year, recently splitting a pair of matches against Marshall, Nov. 5-6, in Huntington, West Virginia. Nationally, the Golden Panthers are ranked 25th in blocks per set (2.59). The program is led offensively by Giada Bianchi with 253 kills and Camila De La Rosa with 417 assists. On the defense, Valeria Santos paces the squad with 354 digs while Myrthe Maring leads the team with 81 total blocks (10 solo/71 assists).

“FIU is athletic, and they play a different style of volleyball,” Wallis said, “- more of an international style of volleyball and they’re going to give you problems if you let them play the way they want to play. And that’s our goal, to make sure we don’t allow for them to do what they want to do.” The Series vs. FIU
UTEP leads the all-time series with FIU, 4-3, since first meeting back in 2013. This is just the second match-up against the Golden Panthers under head coach Ben Wallis.

“We’re looking forward to getting out there and proving our worth,” Wallis said. “We have had a really special year so far and, my group, they’re not ready for it to be over and they are ready to do something special towards the end of the year here out at the conference tournament.” 2021 Conference USA Volleyball Championship Schedule
November 19-21, 2021 – Norfolk, Virginia (Hosted by Old Dominion)

Friday, November 19 – Quarterfinals
Match 1: (4E) Charlotte vs. (1W) Rice – 10 a.m. MT
Match 2: (3W) North Texas vs. (2E) Middle Tennessee – 12 p.m.
Match 3: (4W) UAB vs. (1E) WKU – 3 p.m.
Match 4: (3E) FIU vs. (2W) UTEP – 5 p.m.

Saturday, November 20 – Semifinals
Match 5: M1 Winner vs. M2 Winner – 10 a.m.
Match 6: M3 Winner vs. M4 Winner – 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 21 – Championship Match
Match 7: Semifinal Winners – 9 a.m.

All times Mountain – All matches streamed on ESPN+ 

2021 C-USA Volleyball Championship Bracket (PDF attached)

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