Photo: UTEP Volleyball

UTEP Volleyball set to face North Texas, Western Kentucky

The UTEP volleyball team will travel to Denton, Texas to take on North Texas on Thursday at 4 p.m. (MT). The Miners will return to Memorial Gym to take on Conference USA leader Western Kentucky at 2 p.m. (MT).

The Miners will face North Texas for the second time this season as they fell in three sets (19-25, 21-25, 21-25) to the Mean Green in Memorial Gym on Sept. 25. Coline Coessens led the Miners attack with 12 kills and nine digs. Junior setter Lindsey Larson, registered 27 assists while adding eight digs, five kills and three block assists.

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UTEP vs. North Texas:



Series:  This Thursday will be the 15th match between UTEP and North Texas, and the second of this season. The last meeting between the Miners and the Mean Green (9/25/15) resulted in a loss for UTEP despite the effort put up by the Miners, who ultimately fell 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-21).

Sophomore Coline Coessens paced the Miners’ offense with team-high 12 kills while pitching in nine digs and an assisted block. Junior Lindsey Larson aided the offense with 27 assists while senior Ashley Peak led the team with 11 digs.

As the Miners picked up the intensity for the final set, both teams fought point-for-point as a service error by the Mean Green tied the score at 19 but a 6-2 run allowed the Mean Green to extend its lead and ultimately claim the set 25-21, and the match 3-0.


North Texas is seventh in Conference USA (6-3) while sporting an overall record of 14-10. The Mean Green is led by senior outside hitter Carnae Dillard with 519 kills (5.35 per set) while Holly Milam (194 kills), Amanda Chamberlain (156 kills), and Alexis Wright (142 kills) are the next three leading attackers.

Amy Henard boasts the most assists with a total of 873 (9.70 per set). Dillard (285 digs/ 2.94 per set) and Henard (210 digs/ 2.33 per set) are also defensive leaders while Holly Milam tops the team with 76 blocks.


Series: This Sunday will only be the third match up between the two teams. The previous two meetings occurred last year. In their first meeting ever (10/19/14), the Miners fell 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-16) as the Lady Toppers outlasted the Miners’ efforts.

Talia Jones regulated the Miners’ offense with 10 kills from the outside, Coline Coessens boasted five kills, Lindsey Larson aided with 24 assists, and Sarah Villa led the defense with 10 digs.  When the two teams met again (11/13/14), Coessens and Jones paced the Miners’ efforts with seven kills apiece, however WKU would go on to take the last set, 25-10 as it held UTEP to a negative attack percentage; UTEP ultimately fell 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-10).


With a 10-0 Conference USA record and 23-2 overall, The Lady Toppers’ success on the court has garnered WKU votes in the AVCA poll, ranking the team No. 22 in the nation.  The Lady Toppers are led by Alyssa Cavanaugh and Noelle Langenkamp, who have tallied 289 kills (3.40 per set) and 296 kills (3.06 per set), respectively.

Sophomore Jessica Lucas, who was named this week’s Conference USA’s Setter of the Week, leads the Lady Toppers in assists with a total of 962 (10.93 per set). WKU defensive specialist Georgia O’Connell paces the Lady Toppers in digs, racking up a total of 341 (3.88 per set), while Lucas follows with 233 digs (2.65 per set).


UTEP returns three starters and eight letter winners while adding six freshmen and a transfer. With a squad of 15, the Miners have six outside hitters, four defensive specialist, three middle blockers and two setters. Talia Jones, Lindsey Larson and Ashley Peak are the returning starters for the 2015 campaign. Coline Coessens is sitting out the remainder of the 2015 season due to a non-injury medical issue.


Junior libero Sarah Villa was named the Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 26. The libero notched a total of 73 digs (6.64 per set) and six assists through the three tough road matches (NM State, Southern Miss and UTSA) this past week.

The junior recorded 12 digs against I-10 rival NM State on Oct. 20 in Las Cruces, N.M. She also set a C-USA record for digs in an individual match with 45 while forcing Southern Miss to five sets on Oct. 23 in Hattiesburg, Miss. In the match-up against in-state rival UTSA (Oct. 25), the El Paso native tallied 16 digs and an assist.

This was Villa’s first honor of 2015 and of her career.


Since becoming the starting libero in her junior season, Sarah Villa has been picking up every attack that comes her way. In 2015, Villa has 14 double-digit dig performances and has picked up 20+ digs a total of seven times. The El Paso, Texas native, has 341 digs this season and 4.49 digs per set to go along with 43 assists and six service aces.



Five Miners (Coline Coessens, Ashley Grzebeniak, Lindsey Larson, Dalainee Perry and Kylie Baumgartner) have registered a double-double this season. They have accumulated 30 total double-doubles, which is the most since 2006 when the team closed out the season with 39.

Larson has recorded a team-best 14 double-double performances with a career-best 62 assists and 27 digs in the victory against Brown University (9/11).

Coessens followed with nine total double-doubles before a non-injury medical issue sidelined her. She will miss the rest of the season. The sophomore led the Miners to a win against Southeast Missouri State (9/18) with a season-best 22 kills and 10 digs. Perry has accumulated three, with a career best against South Alabama (9/5) where she tallied 16 kills and 12 digs.

Grzebeniak has compiled two with a season-best 15 kills and 13 digs against Marshall (10/16). Baumgartner notched her first double-double last week against Southern Miss (10/23) where she picked up 11 kills and 10 blocks.


The Miner starting lineup includes three newcomers (Ashley Grzebeniak, Maddie Morgan and Kylie Baumgartner), while returning only two starters from the previous season (Lindsey Larson and Ashley Peak). Grzebeniak has tallied 87 kills, 15 assists, eight service aces, 176 digs and 19 blocks. Morgan has registered 115 kills, 91 blocks, 40 digs, nine assists and five service aces. Baumgartner has recorded 117 kills, 105 blocks, 17 digs and five assists.


The Miners have been pretty efficient on limiting errors in 2015. UTEP has been charged with only 530 errors, while opposing teams have committed 587 infractions on the offensive end. The same goes for serves; the Orange and Blue are serving at a .944 clip with only 114 errors. The opponents’ serving percentage has only been .917 and they have committed 183 errors.


UTEP has accumulated 234.5 total blocks, which equates to a 2.44 blocks per set average, ranking the squad second in Conference USA. This is the highest average UTEP has achieved since 2012 when it averaged 2.36 blocks per set. Team leaders Xitlali Herrera and Jean Horton became AVCA Division I All-American honorable mention selections that season.


Freshman Kylie Baumgartner ranks second in Conference USA in blocks per set with 1.15. Junior libero Sarah Villa is third in the league with 4.49 digs per set. Setter Lindsey Larson is ranked seventh with 8.68 assists per set. As a whole, the Miners lead the league with 17.50 digs per set, and are second with 2.44 blocks per set.



UTEP ranks fifth in the nation with 17.50 digs per set and fourth with 1,680 total team digs, according to the NCAA stats released on Oct. 25. The Miners are seventh in team attacks per set (38.17) and team total attacks (3,664). The Orange and Blue also rank 10th in team total blocks with 234.5. Individually, Kylie Baumgartner is 29th nationally with 105 total blocks. Lindsey Larson is 68th with 833 total assists.



Four Miners (Ashley Peak, Lindsey Larson, Sarah Villa, Coline Coessens) have registered 200 or more digs in 2015. Villa leads the team in digs per set (4.49) with a total of 341. Larson has posted 302 digs, and she is averaging 3.15 digs per set. Peak has picked up 289 total digs, which is 3.40 digs per set on average. Coessens tallied 205 digs in 74 sets before being sidelined due to a non-medical issue.

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UTEP vs. North Texas: