Nov. 5, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Senior Heather Thomas recorded a match-best 28 digs to surpass the 2,000-dig plateau as the UAB volleyball team swept the UTEP Miners, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Bartow Arena. The two teams will square off again on Sunday at noon CT.
Thomas became just the fifth player in Conference USA history to reach the 2,000 dig milestone. She has now corralled 2,012 during her career in Green and Gold.
"I can't say enough about Heather," head coach Kerry Messersmith said. "She will definitely be missed next year and she plays with so much heart. I'm really proud of what she's been able to accomplish here at UAB."
In the match, Thomas was all over the court making numerous point-saving plays in the Blazers' back row. She posted nine digs in the first frame, 11 in the second in the set and eight in the third for her grand total of 28. Her game total tied her season-high, marking the third time this season she has posted 28 digs in a contest.
Messersmith went with a different starting lineup against the Miners, as Thais Soares and Rachel Fairbanks were penciled in at the outside hitter positions. The duo took advantage of the opportunity, as Soares posted her first career double-double (13k-10d), while Fairbanks recorded a personal-best 12 digs.
"Thais had a real solid weekend last week, hitting over .300," Messersmith said. "I felt like she earned a place on the floor and Rachel had a solid week in practice and is one of our better ball handlers. She did a nice job."
In the front row, UAB received a strong performance from Sam Serley, who finished with 12 kills and eight total blocks, as the Blazers finished with 13 total blocks as a team. She also hit at a .500 clip (12K-3E-18TA) en route to scoring 16.5 total points for the Blazers.
The win upped the Blazers record to 19-7 overall and 9-5 in league play, while UTEP dropped to 17-10, 7-7 C-USA.