Blazer Volleyball Makes First C-USA Road Trip

Rachel Fairbanks ranks second in C-USA in digs per set (4.67)

Sept. 27, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB volleyball team hits the road for the first time in conference play this weekend, first trekking to El Paso, Texas to take on the UTEP Miners on Friday at 8 p.m. CT.  The Blazers round out the trip by taking facing the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.

UAB Scouting Report
• UAB (7-9, 1-1 C-USA) posted a 1-1 record to open conference play last weekend, playing a pair of five-set matches.  On Friday night, UAB defeated Houston, 3-2, before falling by the same score on Sunday to the Rice Owls.

• The Blazers have continued to show a strong blocking effort as a whole, averaging 2.31 blocks per set.  That average, which ranks second in the league, is led by senior Sam Serley, who collects 1.25 blocks per frame on her own.  Serley’s block average currently ranks third in the conference.

• Another strength on defense has been UAB’s ability to collect digs on the opponent’s attack.  UAB is averaging 15.31 digs per set, led by libero Rachel Fairbanks’ average of 4.67 per frame.  Fairbanks, who ranks second in the conference in digs per set, is the only player in the league to post two matches of 30 or more digs this season.

• UAB has also shown improvement on the attacking end, hitting .205 as a team, ranking fourth in C-USA.  The Blazers sport two players in the top-10 in the conference in attacking percentage, led by Serley’s league-best average of .369.  Fellow middle blocker, Kiriana Hirini, sits eighth in the league, hitting .313.

UTEP Scouting Report
• UTEP (7-7, 2-1 C-USA) collected two wins in the first weekend of conference action, sweeping UCF on the road and knocking off Southern Miss at home in four sets.

• The Miners sported a pair of players – Jeane Horton and Malia Patterson – that earned weekly honors for their efforts in UTEP’s 2-0 weekend. 

• Horton, an outside hitter, averaged 4.86 kills and 5.64 points and posted a .452 attacking clip en route to earning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week.  For the season, Horton ranks second in the league kills per set (4.44), points per set (4.93) and hitting efficiency (.345).

• Patterson earned co-setter of the week honors by dishing out an average of 13.71 assists per set for the Miners.  The junior sits in second place with an overall average of 10.86 helpers per frame.

• As a whole, UTEP has been one of the premier offensive and defensive clubs in the conference.  Despite being 7-7, the Miners are the top blocking squad (2.52 bps), along with owning the second-best hitting average (.248).

Tulane Scouting Report
• Tulane (3-11, 1-2 C-USA) went 0-2 last weekend, falling to UCF in four frames and Southern Miss in five sets.   The Green Wave’s lone conference victory came vs. the Miners, 3-1.

• The Green Wave is hitting at an even .200 for the season, led by Anna Wruck’s .257 clip.  Wruck’s fellow front line player, Cori Martone ranks third in C-USA in kills per set with a 4.12 average.  Martone also ranks fourth in aces per set, lining 0.33 per frame.