El Paso, TX — UTEP volleyball signed Dayana Acevedo Rios, Naomi Whitehair and Dominique Millette for the 2013-14 season.
“With this class we were really looking for players that could contribute right away,” said head coach Ken Murphy. “We definitely accomplished that goal while adding depth at both the middle blocker and defensive specialist positions. Naomi (Whitehair) and Dayana (Acevedo Rios) are both experienced and skilled players that will make us better immediately, while Dominique (Millette) is a great athlete that will be a presence in the middle for us right away.”
Rios was a force on the backcourt for Iowa Western tallying a total of 1,418 total digs in two seasons, which ranks her third-all time in program history. The junior dominated the competitionduring her stretch with the Reivers, earning multiple honors including: two-time NJCAA Division I All-American first team, two-time AVCA All-American first team, two-time All-Region first team and a two-time Academic All-Region first team recipient. In 2011, Rios led the team in digs with 801 securing the No. 2 spot in the school recordbook for most digs in one season, behind former Miner Stephanie Figueroa. During her sophomore campaign, Rios directed Iowa Western to a 45-3 overall record, posting 18 matches with 20 or more dig performances. The Puerto Rico native had a stellar performance against Iowa Central CC registering 30 digs leading the Reivers to a 3-2 victory. Rios hopes to continue her success at UTEP as a defensive specialist.
Whitehair comes to UTEP from New Mexico Military Institute, where she started as a defensive specialist as a freshman. The transfer played in 130 sets and compiled 262 digs during the 2012 season. Whitehair led the Bronco’s in digs with a career-best of 27 against South Mountain CC (8/25). The defensive specialist ranked second on the team in receptions. In high school, Whitehair received multiple honors including being selected twice to the Arizona 3A North All-Region Team and once to the Arizona 3A All-State Team. The incoming sophomore was an integral member of the Monument Valley High School squad that earned three state titles in Arizona’s Class 3A and earned bids to regionals all four years. As a three-year starter for the Mustangs, she guided the team to a total record of 110 wins and seven losses. Whitehair will be looking to boost the Miners defensive efforts this coming season.
Millette will begin her collegiate career as a middle blocker for UTEP in the fall. The freshman from Bolingbrook, Ill. led Hinsdale Central in blocks during her senior year. In 2011, she was named to the Dupage County All-Area Girls Volleyball honorable mention team. Millette led the Red Devils to the St. Ignatius title with 11 kills and three blocks. As a senior she garner All-Tournament honors at the 2012 Presidents Day Tournament. Millette will be protecting the Miners net during the 2013 campaign.
Previously, Sarah Miranda Villa from Burges High School had been added to the Miners roster for the incoming season.