Photo courtesy UTEP Volleyball/Twitter
The UTEP volleyball team (0-2, 0-0 Conference USA) will play its home opener on Wednesday, Aug. 30, against Texas Tech (1-0, 0-0 Big 12). First serve at the historic Memorial Gym is set for 6 p.m. (MT).
The Miner squad gained a lot of experience at the North Texas Invitational this past weekend against very competitive Montana and Tulsa teams. The Miners went 0-2 in the invitational, but senior setter Amanda King had a stellar performance as a six-rotation player, racking up 45 assists, four kills, 10 digs and four total blocks.
The team also got strong showings from sophomores Macey Austin and Briana Arellano, who both had 13 kills to lead the team. Defensively, Arellano also had 10 digs. True freshman Cheyenne Jones also proved she was a force for the team in her collegiate debut, hammering down 12 kills while also picking up two digs and five total blocks.
In total, the Miners had 61 kills, 54 assists, 51 digs, 15 total blocks and five service aces in two games.
Texas Tech is coming off a 3-1 win over North Texas in their season opener. Sophomore transfer Emily Hill led the Red Raiders on offense with a double-double and a match-high of 17 kills and 11 digs, as well as four block assists and a couple of aces. Behind her was junior Sarah Redding with 14 kills.
Meanwhile, junior libero Reyn Akiu led the defense with a match-high of 21 digs. Junior Katy Keenan and freshman Allison White combined for eight block assists and three solo blocks. The Red Raiders hold a 22-3 record in program history against the Miners.
The UTEP team features only two seniors, King and defensive specialist Dania Orozco, but is loaded with three juniors, four sophomores and four freshman. Miner fans will get their first look at the team in regular season action, which includes 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman selection Austin, senior leader King, and El Pasoans Arellano and Orozco.
Team block leader Kylie Baumgartner will also put in work for the Miners, and freshmen Jones and Mallory Yost, who have already accumulated plenty of playing time, will contest for the first time in Memorial Gym.
The game day marketing promotion will be an “Orange Out” and fans are encouraged to wear orange to get in free. Live stats will be available HERE.
UTEP (0-2) VS TEXAS TECH (1-0)
Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Time: 6 p.m. (MT)
Admission: Wear orange and admission is free
Miner Notables: Amanda King (setter), Macey Austin (outside hitter), Briana Arellano (outside hitter), Kylie Baumgartner (middle blocker), Cheyenne Jones (outside hitter), Ashley Grzebeniak (outside hitter), Niki Cebak (defensive specialist/libero)
Red Raider Notables: Emily Hill (outside hitter), Sarah Redding (right-side hitter), Reyn Akiu (libero), Katy Keenan (middle blocker), Allison White (middle blocker).