Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
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).