EL PASO – Head coach Holly Watts released the 2015 UTEP volleyball scheduleon Wednesday.
The schedule features three away tournaments, a home tournament and 14 home matches.
“This will be a good schedule,” said Watts. “We are bringing in seven new players to our roster which will give us depth at every position and will issue a challenge to every returner to have a great summer of training.”
The Miners return nine letterwinners to the court and welcome seven newcomers to the roster. UTEP will kickoff the 2015 campaign on the road taking part in the TCU Tournament. The Miners will open play versus SMU on Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. MT. The Mustangs posted a program record for most wins last season (26-6). SMU ranked 41st in RPI and completed the 2014 season second in the American Athletic Conference.
UTEP will then take on Abilene Christian and host TCU, who is under new head coach Jill Kramer. She coached five seasons at West Virginia prior to returning to the Horned Frogs.
The team will hit the road again to participate in the Belmont Tournament (Sept. 4-5) where it will be dueling it out against Memphis, Belmont and South Alabama. Memphis registered a successful 2014 season by finishing 23-11which marked the most wins since 2007.
The Miners will then open home play as co-host of the Borderland Invitational (Sept. 10-12), which will feature Denver, Brown, Robert Morris and Oklahoma. The team will conclude tournament action against the Sooners, who finished 20-11 and second in the Big 12 last season.
“We have a great slate of competition coming in for the tournament we are co-hosting with NM State as we will play Denver Thursday night, two matches on Friday, Brown and Robert Morris,” said Watts. “We will be finishing off with aSaturday noon matchup versus Oklahoma. The Sooners were very good last year and with coach Santiago Restrepo at the helm, they will be a very tough team on our home court.”
The squad will then host Big 12 opponent Texas Tech on Sept. 15. The Red Raiders return two All-Big 12 Performers and added four newcomers that were named to the 2014 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour All-American Watch List.
“We like that Texas Tech is coming in for a single match before we start conference play,” said Watts. “This is a perfect match for on-campus students to come support the volleyball team on a Wednesday evening.”
UTEP will then play in its last regular-season tournament, the Bradley Tournament on Sept. 18-19. The team will battle it out against Southeast Missouri, DePaul and Bradley.
The Miners will then open conference play at Charlotte on Sept. 21. UTEP will go on to play seven more road league games against FAU (Oct. 2), FIU (Oct. 4), Southern Miss (Oct. 23), UTSA (Oct. 25), North Texas (Oct. 29), Rice (Nov. 12) and WKU (Nov. 14). The team will also play eight conference games at home hosting North Texas (Sept. 25), Middle Tennessee (Sept. 27), UTSA (Oct. 11), Marshall (Oct. 16), Rice (Oct. 18), WKU (Nov. 1), UAB (Nov. 6) and LA Tech (Nov. 8).
The Conference USA Championships are slated from Nov. 19-21 in San Antonio, Texas.
UTEP will battle it out against I-10 rival NM State on Oct. 20 and Nov. 25 at Memorial Gym.