UTEP Volleyball Schedules UNT & SFA For Preseason Matchups
Even though the regular season has been pushed to the spring, UTEP volleyball continues to schedule preseason matches during the fall to get them ready for the upcoming season.
The Miners (1-1) will face North Texas and Stephen F. Austin (7-1) this weekend for three of their final five preseason matches. UTEP will kick off the double-header on Saturday versus North Texas (11:00 AM) and Stephen F. Austin (1:00 PM). They have one last game against UNT on Sunday (9:30 AM).
“It's another chance for our young growing program to prove that we're going to be one of the better teams in the conference every year,” said second-year head coach Ben Wallis in a release. “People are going to have to take UTEP volleyball seriously now and moving forward.”
UTEP is coming off a big upset victory against reigning Sun Belt Conference Champions Texas State on Sept. 12. The Miners lost the first game (3-2) in a close loss but followed it up with a dominant 3-1 win. Sophomore outside hitter Alianza Darley finished with a combined 29 kills and a .382 hitting percentage. Junior transfer libero Ha’ahula Crisostomo had 42 digs along with the match-winning kill for junior outside hitter Serena Patterson against the Bobcats. Patterson finished with five aces in addition to her eight kills and seven digs in UTEP’s win.
“This Saturday is going to be a tough test for us with two top-100 teams that have good pin players on both antennas," Wallis said. "SFA is really balanced and they have a good defensive team that serves it tough. They're in a similar offensive system to us where they try to set at least four people a lot. That style of system keeps you off balance and it also doesn't let you stand in front of one person very often. UNT, on the other hand, is in a 5-1 system with a senior setter, two senior outside hitters, and is a veteran team with a lot of firepower on the pins. … UNT is perennially one of the top four or five teams in our conference and so that'll be a good measuring stick for us as well even though we beat them at home last year late in the year they were without their setter and without their L2 who didn't play because of a concussion.”
“It will be a tough test for us without two of our top point scorers sitting at home with ankle injuries, but it'll allow for us to get some younger players on the floor to see if they're capable of helping us in the spring and down the road," he continued. "All in all, I feel like we've got a competitive group that's looking forward to competing this weekend and learning more about ourselves.“