Tigers Set Sights on C-USA Tournament
Aug. 17, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis volleyball team is coming off its first 20-win season since2007 and will be led by preseason first team All-Conference USA selection Altrese Hawkins. The Tigers return four starters and libero from a team that posted a 20-13 record in 2011. Memphis also welcomes four newcomers to round out the 2012 squad.
Head Coach April Jauregui's Tigers opened last season on a tear, winning their first seven matches before dropping their only two non-conference matches of the year. Memphis followed the two-game skid with a six-game winning streak to cap their non-conference schedule with an 11-2 mark entering Conference USA play. The Tigers struggled in conference play, compiling a 9-11 record, but closed the season with three straight road wins. Memphis posted a 20-13 record, marking the first 20-win season in Tiger volleyball since 2007.
Two-time, first team All-Conference USA performer Altrese Hawkins will lead the Tigers in 2012. Hawkins led the team and finished second in the conference with career-best 532 kills. Her 4.40 kills per set ranked her 19th in the country and second in the league. The Schaumburg, Ill., native ranks seventh in school history with 1,350 career kills, only 439 away from Monique Swaby's school record.
Fellow seniors Marija Jovanovic and Maja Kostic will help Hawkins lead the Tigers' balanced squad. Jovanovic finished second on the team with a 381 kills a season ago. The Belgrade, Serbia, native also registered 201 digs and ranked third on the team with 66 total blocks. Kostic also hails from Belgrade and set career-highs with 49 kills and 166 digs last season.Lauren Hawkins, a Rowlett, Texas native, had a solid freshman season, posting 235 kills with an attack percentage of .261. She also led the team with 12 solo blocks and finished second among Tigers with 69 total blocks. Katie Meyer should make an impact offensively for the Tigers as she posted 137 kills a season ago. The Dalton, Ohio native led the team with an attack percentage of .287 and 96 total blocks. Silverdale, Wash. native, Alexis Wesley will also vie for time in the front row. Welsey appeared in nine matches a season ago and posted five kills. Freshman and Atlanta, Ga. native, Sydni Etheredge will compete for time in the Tigers' front line. Sophomore Aleksandra Petronijevic will anchor the defense after leading the team with 430 digs in 2011. Petronijevic hails from Belgrade, Serbia and her digs per set average of 3.55 ranked her 13th in C-USA. The libero also posted 26 services aces, the third-most among Tigers. Junior Megan Pulido is transitioning to the back row after playing at the setter position in 2011. The Cordova, Tenn., native made appearances in 20 matches last season, and recording 20 digs. After taking a redshirt year, Toledo, Ohio native Veronica Zimmerman will compete at setter with freshman Jaden Louie, a Whittier, Calif. native. Memphis also welcomes a pair of transfer students, Jerae David and Viktorija Teivane. David hails from Burlington, Colo., and comes to the Tiger program from Kansas City Kansas Community College. She posted 134 digs (2.39 per set) for the Blue Devils a season ago. Teivane, a Daugavpils, Latvia native played the last two years at Western Wyoming Junior College. In each of her seasons at Western Wyoming, Teivane recorded more than 300 kills, posting 325 in 2010 and 319 last year. Memphis opens the 2012 campaign with the Memphis Invitational on August 24 and 25 in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The Tigers then travel to tournaments in Charleston, S.C. and Toledo, Ohio before wrapping up the preseason with another home tournament on September 14 and 15. Memphis opens C-USA play at home on September 21 and 23 when the host Rice and Houston, respectively. After a two-year hiatus, the C-USA Tournament returns for the 2012 season. The tournament will be held in Tulsa, Okla. from November 16-18. The top eight teams will qualify for the tournament. There will be free admission to all Tiger home games this season. Fans who cannot attend a Memphis home event or who would like to watch a live stream of a Conference USA road game that the Tigers are playing in can purchase a subscription to the Memphis Tiger Network All-Access package. Home games for men's and women's soccer, volleyball, softball, baseball and women's basketball are all streamed live on All-Access, and C-USA road games for all those sports are also part of the Memphis All-Access package, although with the home team's video and audio feed provided. Home football and men's basketball games not airing on television will also be streamed live on the Memphis Tiger Network All-Access package. A monthly subscription is available for $9.95 and a yearly subscription costs $79.95. To subscribe, go to www.GoTigersGo.com/allaccess/ and click Subscribe in the top right corner.