Volleyball Looks to Find Winning Ways at Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational
Sept. 3, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Looking for its first win of the 2009 season, the University of Memphis volleyball team will hit the road for the first time this year to participate in the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational hosted by Missouri State, Sept. 4-5. The Tigers will play a pair of doubleheaders, beginning with matchups versus Stephen F. Austin at 10 a.m. on Friday, followed by a 7 p.m. showdown against host Missouri State. The Tigers will then wrap up the weekend slate with matches versus UC-Davis and Mississippi State at 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively on Saturday.
Memphis comes into the weekend with a 0-3 record after dropping all three of its contests (to Evansville, SEMO and Arkansas State) in the Memphis Invitational last weekend. The Tigers dropped a four-set tilt to the Purple Aces before being swept by the Redhawks and Red Wolves.
Junior Katlin Inglish and redshirt freshman Altrese Hawkins led the way offensively with 31 and 30 kills, respectively. Hawkins hit .230 for the weekend and earned Memphis Invitational All-Tournament honors.
On the defensive side of the net, Memphis holds opposing hitters to a .219 percentage and makes nearly 20 digs per set. Junior Christine Bach got her 2009 season off to a fast start with 31 digs in the season opener versus Evansville and leads the club and C-USA with 5.90 digs per set. Bach's 31 digs in the most by a Tiger volleyball player in a season-opening match. It also marks a record-setting third time that she has reached the 30-dig milestone. Bach has gotten defensive help from fellow back row mates Becky Shaffer and Rachel Theard. Shaffer has made 37 digs while Theard checks in with 33. Theard recorded a career-best 16 digs in the loss to Arkansas State.
Scouting Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin improved to 3-2 with a sweep of Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday. The Ladyjacks, who return nine letterwinners from last year's 20-9 squad, split four matches in the opening weekend of competition. SFA has five hitters with 30 or more kills, led by Amber Williams-Roberts' 53 kills. Kelsey Owens hits .229 and ranks second on the squad with 39 kills.
Madison Hanlan's seven aces and 73 digs (4.56 dps) are both tops on the team, while Mary Caitlin Bottles averages a block per set (16 total blocks). Bottles was a First Team All-Southland Conference selection in 2008.
All-Time Record vs. the Ladyjacks
Scouting Missouri State
The Bears are paced by senior outside hitter Sarah Staubach. Staubach led all returners with 2.86 kills per set last season and leads this year's crew with 31 kills (2.58 kps) in the early season. Sophomore Calli Norman has been the most efficient attacker on the club, connecting at a .312 clip with 28 kills.
Junior Cara Hackmann bolsters the defense with over four digs per set. Junior middle blocker Bethany Fuller joins Norman on the frontline and is tops on the team with 1.36 blocks per set. Norman averages 1.17 blocks per frame.
All-Time Record vs. the Bears
Davis averages over 2.00 blocks over set with Betsy Sedlak and Katie Denny totaling 11 and 10 blocks, respectively. Avreeta Singh leads the back row efforts with 38 digs. The Aggies limit opposing teams to .175 hitting.
All-Time Record vs. the Aggies
Scouting Mississippi State
MSU went 1-2 in the Maroon Classic last weekend with a win over Jackson State and losses to McNeese State and UALR.
The Bulldogs hit .215 as a team with Ashley Newsome leading the way with 33 kills and a .253 hitting percentage. She is trailed by Ioana Demian's 32 kills. Dorey Gray runs the offense and has 95 assists.
Newsome's 13 blocks leads the Bulldogs front row. She gets helps from Dravon Rangel, who has recorded 10 blocks in just nine sets of action. In the back row, libero Kayla Woodard is the team's leader with 40 digs. Gray is second on the club with 25.
All-Time Record vs. the Bulldogs
Last Time vs. Mississippi State
Memphis (7-3) 25 25 25 Mississippi State (5-6) 14 15 22
STARKVILLE, Miss.-- Carolyn Baker hammered down a match-high 10 kills and the Tiger offense put together one of its most efficient performances of the season to breeze to a sweep of Mississippi State and take home the MSU Bulldog Club Invitational title. Libero Christine Bach, setter Laura Côté and right side hitter Rebekah Strickland were all named to the all-tournament team. Côté was tabbed the Invitational's Most Outstanding Player.
Memphis quickly disposed of the home team, hitting .311 and holding MSU to a .012 hitting clip. Baker hit .467 in the contest. Emily Underwood continued her solid play in the middle, downing nine kills and rejecting eight Bulldogs attacks. Côté added four defense blocks to go with 29 assists for the Tigers. Lauren Thompson chipped in with eight kills and a .389 average. Katlin Inglish made a match-best 11 digs.