Sept. 26, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech Volleyball has the honor of hosting the first two Conference USA matches in the program's history as league play is set to commence beginning with a 7 p.m. match Friday night against the visiting UTEP Miners in the Thomas Assembly Center.
Conference action will resume at 1 p.m. Sunday as the Lady Techsters host former Western Athletic Conference foe turned C-USA mate UTSA in an afternoon match inside the TAC.
"It is great to open Conference USA regular season at home," head coach Adriano de Souza said. "This is a tough conference and every match will be very competitive. UTEP and UTSA had great seasons last year, they both will bring experience and our players are aware of that. Our team understands that it is important to be competitive and to take every opportunity that we can during the match." With 11 combined games between LA Tech and UTEP, the Miners contain a slight lead with a 6-5 record all-time against the Techsters. The last time the two teams met was in 2004 as WAC opponents as UTEP edged Tech 3-2 in five sets. Over the course of the series, four matches have gone the distance and three of them have surpassed three sets.
As for the Roadrunners, senior outside hitter McKenzie Adams leads UTSA to Ruston as the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year. Adams and the Roadrunners defeated the Lady Techsters twice in 2012 in two straight-set affairs. UTSA leads the all-time series 4-1.
LA Tech continues to be led offensively by the play of two outside hitters, transfers Rebecca Redgen and Xzache Mathis. Redgen leads the team with 190 kills, while Mathis is close behind with 184 kills and a team-leading 3.35 per set.
Behind the service line, junior setter Maria Coelho, the team-leader in assists, has been a force to reckon with for opposing teams with a team-high 30 aces. Coelho's 0.49 aces per set ranks her 20th in the nation in that category. As a team, LA Tech is ranked fourth nationally in aces per set with 1.98 and leads the conference in that category as well.
Both matches this weekend will be available via GameTracker by accessing the link on the volleyball schedule page on LATechSports.com. Live streaming will also be available for LA Tech All-Access subscribers.
For complete coverage of LA Tech Volleyball, please follow @LATechVB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.