UTEP Volleyball Announces Home Slate for Upcoming Season
As year two of Ben Wallis' tenure gets underway for UTEP volleyball, the team announced their 2020 home schedule today.
"I'm really excited about our 2020 home slate of matches,” head coach Wallis said in a release. “We inherited a road-heavy schedule in our first season last year but we performed very well at home, securing top-100 wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Marshall and North Texas. Our roster is much deeper and more athletic this year and I think we have what it takes, with our returning talent and eight new players, to be a force in Conference USA this season.”
The Miners are coming off a nice turnaround for the program last year in Wallis' first season as head coach, winning 13 games and advancing to the C-USA Championships for the first time in three seasons. They return 12 players from last year, including Cheyenne Jones—a second-team All-C-USA player last year—Irbe Lazda and Serena Patterson.
The Miners begin the season with the program's own I-10 Challenge, featuring Tulane, Incarnate Word and New Mexico, Aug. 28-29 at the Don Haskins Center.
"We're really excited to wrap up the four-year I-10 rivalry tournament here in El Paso at the Don Haskins Center opening weekend,” Wallis added. “We were able to add New Mexico to the field, which is something that (Lobos coach) Jon Newman-Gonchar and I have been pretty adamant about since he got hired last year as well. We want that I-25 rivalry renewed each season."
The following week, UTEP will be the co-host of the Borderland Invitational alongside NM State, facing opponents like UT Arlington, Abilene Christian and the Aggies. League play begins on Saturday, Sept. 26, when the Miners host UTSA, followed by North Texas (Oct. 2) and Rice (Oct. 4).
"What I really like about our conference schedule is that we have several of the top teams at home, including UTSA, North Texas and Rice right off the bat,” Wallis said. “Conference USA is a top-10 volleyball conference so everybody will be tough to beat, but we’re excited to have several of the top teams playing here in El Paso and having to deal with our rowdy fans. We finished third in the conference in attendance last year and I'm hoping we can get in the top-two this season, especially with our great slate of matches."
They close out the season with another battle against NMSU (Nov. 24) right before Thanksgiving.
Season tickets are on sale now online at www.UTEPMiners.com/Tickets. Tickets are just $60 for adults and $35 for youth and gain entry to all 14 home matches.
The full schedule will be released soon, per UTEP athletics.
2020 UTEP Volleyball Home Schedule
Aug. 28 TULANE ^
INCARNATE WORD ^ Don Haskins Center 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 29 NEW MEXICO ^ Don Haskins Center 3 p.m.
Sept. 4 UT ARLINGTON# Memorial Gym 10 a.m.
ABILENE CHRISTIAN# Memorial Gym 5 p.m.
Sept. 6 NM STATE#
Sept. 26 UTSA*
Oct. 2 NORTH TEXAS* Memorial Gym 6 p.m.
Oct. 4 RICE*
Oct. 16 OLD DOMINION* Memorial Gym 6 p.m.
Oct. 18 CHARLOTTE*
Oct. 30 FLORIDA ATLANTIC* Memorial Gym 6 p.m.
Nov. 1 FIU*
Nov. 24 NM STATE
All times MT
* Indicates C-USA match
^ I-10 Challenge
# Borderland Invitational