Photo courtesy UTEP Volleyball / Twitter
The UTEP volleyball team will play in its final home tournament this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when the Miners team up with New Mexico State to host the Borderland Invitational.
The tournament will take place at both Memorial Gym and NM State’s Pan American Center and will feature Samford, Delaware State and Abilene Christian.
In the Memorial Gym portion of the Borderland Invitational, the tournament will pair UTEP (1-5) against Samford (2-4) on Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday’s match will pit the Miners against Delaware State (0-6) slated for 11 a.m. The Miners will round out the tournament on Sunday with a noon time contest against Abilene Christian (1-6).
The Friday and Saturday matches will be live streamed and can be accessed through www.utepathletics.com on the volleyball schedule page. Due to event overlaps, Sunday’s match will not be live streamed but live stats will be available HERE.
Admission for the tournament is $5 for adults and $3 for children, but fans will get a chance to enter the game free through marketing promotions. First, UTEP’s match on Friday will be “Super Hero Day,” fans that dress as a super hero will get in free. Saturday’s match will be free admission and children 12 and under will gain free admission to Sunday’s match.
BORDERLAND INVITATIONAL BREAKDOWN
The Borderland Invitational on Sept. 8-10 will feature co-hosts UTEP and NM State, Samford, Delaware State and Abilene Christian. There will be nine matches played during the three-day event, split between Memorial Gym and the Pan American Center. Samford and Delaware State will open the Invite on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Pan American Center.
The second match of the day will be NM State vs. Abilene Christian in a 2 p.m. contest in Las Cruces. Two 7 p.m. matches will close out the first day of the Invite, with UTEP playing its first match of the tournament in a meeting with Samford in Memorial Gym, while NM State takes on Delaware State in the Pan American Center.
The Saturday slate will begin with UTEP and Delaware State battling in Memorial Gym, while Abilene Christian and Samford meet in the Pan Am Center, both at 11 a.m. The remainder of Saturday’s matches will be played in Las Cruces, first at 5 p.m. when Delaware State and Abilene Christian meet, then a 7 p.m. showdown with NM State and Samford.
UTEP will close out the tournament with the only Sunday match when the Miners meet with Abilene Christian at noon. A tournament guide can be found at www.utepathletics.com on the women’s volleyball page under the “More+” link.
SAMFORD SCOUTING REPORT
Series: The Bulldogs and Miners will be meeting for the fourth time, with the Miners holding the 2-1 all-time series advantage. The two first met twice in 1987 at the Georgia State Classic in Milledgeville, Ga., with the Miners sweeping the Bulldogs 3-0 in both meetings. The last meeting came in 2016, with Samford taking the 3-1 victory in Arlington, Texas at the UT-Arlington Invitational. The Bulldogs are 2-4 on the 2017 season.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 1-2 weekend at the Loyola-Chicago Invite, where they grabbed a five-set win over Fairfield 3-2, but was swept by Milwaukee and fell in four sets to Loyola.
The Bulldog offense is led by outside hitter Krista Boesing, who has 105 kills (4.38 k/s), 57 digs, and eight total blocks in six matches, with a season-high 22 kills against Ohio. Behind her, Kelsi Hobbs has recorded 74 kills, 64 digs and five block assists. Junior setter Taylor Anderton has dished out 242 assists while also picking up 48 digs and nine total blocks on the season.
Anderton has a season-high 54 assists against Loyola. Defensivly, sophomore libero Grace Tiesma paces the team with 65 digs (2.71 dig/s) and freshman middle blocker Sierra Rayzor leads her team with 22 total blocks.
DELAWARE STATE SCOUTING REPORT
Series: The Miners and Hornets will be meeting for the third time on Saturday, with the Miners holding the all-time series lead 2-0. They first met in 2010 at the Hilton RTP/NCCU Tournament in Durham, N.C., where the Miners took the match 3-0. They last met 2011 at the Cornell Volleyball Tournament, with UTEP sweeping the Hornets. The Hornets are 0-6 on the season.
The Hornets are winless (0-6) in their first six matches of 2017. Delaware State fell to Morehead State (Aug. 25), Winthrop (Aug. 25), Youngstown State (Aug. 26), North Carolina A&T (Sept. 1), Presbyterian (Sept. 2) and UNCG (Sept. 2) all by the scores of 3-0.
Despite the winless start, senior Alliyah McBean was selected to the All-Tournament team at the Spartan-Aggie Volleyball Invitational played in Greensboro, N.C. on Sept. 1-2. McBean recorded 29 digs in the Hornets’ three matches, including 11 each in losses to North Carolina A&T and UNCG.
McBean has been a bright spot early in the campaign as she was also named to the All-Tournament team at the Morehead State Invitational (Aug. 25-26). In the North Carolina A&T match, senior Sabina Szmajduch led the Hornets with 11 kills, while El Paso, Texas, native Gabriella Enriquez (Americas High School) tallied 22 assists.
Enriquez totaled 55 assists in the three matches in Greensboro and has amassed 98 (5.44 a/s) thus far during the season. Sophomore Sydney Armbrister leads the team in kills (31), while Szmajduch ranks second (30) but leads in kills per set (2.14). McBean has recorded 70 digs to lead the Hornets, while Enriquez ranks second on the team with 30.
Abilene Christian Scouting Report
Series: Sunday’s match will mark the second meeting between the Miners and Wildcats. UTEP got the first win of the series when the two last met in 2015 at the TCU Tournament. The Miners took the match 3-1. The Wildcats are 1-6 on the 2017 season.
Abeline Christian is seeking for their second win of the season after a 1-6 record to kick off 2017. The Wildcats will be led by returner libero Amanda Chapa, who recorded a career-high 28 digs against Wake Forest. Chapa will be alongside junior setter and outside hitter Kendall Bosse, who led the team with 45 assists against Wake Forest as well. Meanwhile, the offense will be led by junior Lauren Walker who tallied 12 kills and six blocks to help the Wildcats to their first win of the season against Wyoming.
GLORY ROAD INVITATIONAL RECAP
UTEP went 1- 2 last weekend at their own home tournament, the Glory Road Invitational, with the highlight of the tournament being a five-set victory over Youngstown State. The team opened up play against New Mexico on Friday, but fell to the Lobos 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22). The Miners bounced back with a 3-2 victory over Youngstown State (22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22, 15-13). UTEP’s second match of the day was against North Dakota, who remained flawless in the Invite after getting by UTEP 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 26-24). Macey Austin was named to the all-tournament team.
Slipping BY THE PENGUINS
UTEP earned its first win of the season after its 3-2 triumph over Youngstown State in the Glory Road Invitational on Saturday. The Miners slipped against the Penguins in set one 25-22, but took consecutive set wins 25-19, 25-21 in sets two and three. Youngstown State took set four 25-22 but the Miners rallied to take the fifth and decisive set 15-13 and the match. In total, the Miners had 56 kills, 55 assists, 72 digs, six total blocks and six service aces.
12 HAMMERS DOWN 25
Macey Austin had a stellar performance in UTEP’s take-down of Youngstown State. Austin spearheaded the Miner offense with her career-high 25 kills while adding three digs and two total blocks in the Miners’ five-set victory. Her 25-kill effort has placed her in a tie for fourth on UTEP’s all-time record of kills in a match. Through six matches, Austin has notched 72 kills, 12 digs and five total blocks.
SAHARA STEPS UP
After senior setter Amanda King rolled her ankle during UTEP’s match against New Mexico, true freshman Sahara Martinez was called into the role and did not disappoint. Martinez took over the reins to give King rest through the rest of the weekend and dished out 95 assists, including 47 in UTEP’s victory over Youngstown State. The freshman also tallied 20 digs, one total block and one kill in her weekend debut. King is expected to return this weekend.
THE EFFICIENT YOST
True freshman Mallory Yost was hitting at an impressive .563 percentage in UTEP’s battle with North Dakota. Yost knocked down 11 kills in 16 attempts with only two attack errors. The Gretna, Neb. native has made an immediate impact for the team, recording 39 kills, 14 total blocks, and four digs in six matches for the Miners.