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UTEP volleyball receives coveted NIVC postseason invitation

The+Miners+finished+its+regular+season+with+21+wins+and+a+winning+percentage+of+.700%2C+the+second+highest+percentage+in+the+Ben+Wallis+era.+
Joel Molina
The Miners finished its regular season with 21 wins and a winning percentage of .700, the second highest percentage in the Ben Wallis era.

After falling in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament, the UTEP Volleyball team has found life in another postseason tournament after receiving an invitation to play in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). 

The Miners finished its regular season with 21 wins and a winning percentage of .700, the second highest percentage in the Ben Wallis era. 

The season ended at the hands of the WKU Hilltoppers (29-4, C-USA 16-0) in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship Tournament. The loss came after the Miners forced a fifth set to the future C-USA champions. 

The NIVC hosts 32 teams from across the country in a win-or-go-home tournament. There are three rounds including a semifinal, a third place and a final match. 

The Miners have participated in the invitational tournament before in the Wallis era. In 2021, the Miners found themselves in the semifinals of the tournament but ended up suffering a loss in front of a home crowd to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Dec. 9. 

This year, the Miners host three other teams at Memorial Gym, the University of North Texas (UNT) (17-15, AAC 11-8), the University of Arlington Mavericks (UT-Arlington) (20-10, WAC 9-7) and the Florida Atlantic University Owls (FAU) (20-10, AAC 12-7). 

The team will start the tournament against former C-USA opponent UNT. 

The winner of this matchup will face off against the winner of the UT-Arlington and FAU match up in the second round of the NIVC Invitational Tournament. 

FAU is also a former C-USA team. 

Head Coach Ben Wallis expressed his optimism for his team through a press release. 

“My team is excited to play in the postseason,” Wallis said. “To be able to host at home again is exciting. Our city has rallied around our team, which says a lot about our fans. I’m hopeful we can pack Memorial Gym again.” 

UTEP faces UNT at 7:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 1, at Memorial Gym. 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela Armendariz is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram. 

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About the Contributors
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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