Tigers to Host FanFest on Friday Evening
Aug. 21, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis volleyball team is set to tip off the 2014 campaign as it hosts FanFest on Friday evening at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The Blue/Gray scrimmage will begin at 6 p.m. with an autograph session starting about 7:30. Fans will also receive free pizza on a first come-first serve basis.
Head Coach April Jauregui, who begins her seventh-season at the helm of the volleyball program, needs only 13 victories to become the third coach in program history to eclipse the 100-win plateau. Joining Jauregui on the staff is James "J.O." Onikeku in his fourth season and Kallie Noble, who comes to the Tigers after serving as the head coach for the University of St. Thomas for two years.
Key returners for the Blue and Gray include a pair of seniors in Lauren Wright, the lone selection for the Tigers on the preseason All-American Conference team, and Aleksandra Petronijevic who needs only 195 more digs to break Christen Clayton's program record of 1,813, set from 2003-06. The Serbian currently ranks third on the all-time digs list.
Juniors Lindsey Purvis, Alexis Wesley and Veronica Zimmerman are also expected to make significant contributions in the coming season. Wesley ranked second in the team in 2013 with 321.5 points and posted 12 matches with at least 10 kills. Zimmerman set the record for assists by a setter in an American Conference game with 65 on November 29 against USF. If the Toledo, Ohio, native can keep up the pace of 900 assists in a season, she will climb into the top-five in the career record-book.
Rounding out returners for the Tiger's include sophomores McKenzie Hayes, Catlin Lilly and Michaella Moss. Lilly recorded more kills than any Memphis true-freshman in the past decade and most kills by a freshman since Altrese Hawkins' breakout campaign in 2009. Hayes also saw significant action in her first year on campus, starting 21 matches and appearing in 27. Moss posted two games with more than ten kills and recorded a personal-best 27 digs against Tennessee-State.
The Blue and Gray will also have seven newcomers for the coming campaign. Freshman Kate Gibson, Kendall Seering, Faith Myers, Oluchi Agomuo, Regan Comperry and Charlotte Wellens all join the team after impressive prep careers. Another fresh-face for the Tigers is junior Torika Baleilekutu who comes to Memphis by way of Missouri State-West Plains.
The Tigers return eight letterwinners and four starters from last season's 15-17 squad that finished seventh in the American Conference. Visit GoTigersGo.com and follow @MemphisVolley on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the volleyball team.