Volleyball Hosts Memphis Invitational this Weekend
Sept. 9, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
4 p.m. -- LaSalle vs. Air Force -- Gametracker
7 p.m. -- Tennessee State at Memphis -- Gametracker
1 p.m. -- LaSalle at Memphis -- Gametracker
4 p.m. -- LaSalle vs. Tennessee State -- Gametracker
7 p.m. -- Air Force at Memphis -- Gametracker
After spending its first two weeks of the 2010 season on the road, the University of Memphis volleyball squad will open its home schedule this weekend when it hosts the 2010 Memphis Invitational. The Tigers will host Air Force, LaSalle and Tennessee State in the four-team field. Memphis will face Tennessee State in the home opener at 7 p.m., Friday night. They will take on LaSalle (1 p.m.) and Air Force (7 p.m.) in double header action on Saturday.
Riding the swing of sophomore Altrese Hawkins, Marija Jovanovic and Vesna Jelic, the Tigers have claimed a tournament title and a runner-up finish in the first two weeks of the season.A preseason All-C-USA selection, Hawkins has been extremely efficient from her outside hitter position, connecting for a team-high 97 kills and a stout .351 hitting percentage. Hawkins, who is averaging 16 kills per match, has put away at least 12 kills in every outing this year. Jovanovic is second on the squad with 63 kills. The sophomore right side hitter averages 2.62 kills per set and leads the club with 14 service aces. She has been a wall at the net with 10 total blocks. Jelic is the team's third option and has 37 kills. She has been strong defensively, logging 53 digs in the Memphis back row.
Libero Christine Bach has eclipsed the 1,300 digs milestone and leads Memphis with 69 digs. Fellow senior Becky Shaffer has picked up 33 digs this year and now needs just seven digs to reach 1,000 digs for her career. At the net, Memphis is paced by sophomore middle blocker Cassidy Hawkins. Hawkins, a transfer from UT Martin has 17 total blocks, including four solo rejections.
Scouting Tennessee State
They have gotten off to a slow start this year, opening the season 0-5 with losses to Western Kentucky, Ball State, Oakland, Robert Morris and Lipscomb. TSU, who has been swept in three of its four outings, participated in Ball State's Active Ankle Challenge over the weekend and were swept by Ball State and Oakland, before falling to Robert Morris, 3-1, in the final contest of the weekend. The Lady Tigers were swept by Lipscomb in their last match, on Tues., Sept. 7.
TSU hits just .078 as a team. The Lady Tigers are led by Santia Sanders' 33 kills, while Shaquita Williams is a close second with 30 terminations. Vicmari Prospero has connected for 28 kills and leads the club with six service aces.
Libero Calasia Williams leads the defense with 49 digs (3.06 d/s). Opposing teams hit .293 against TSU
All-Time Series vs. Lady Tigers
The Explorers were swept by Villanova and Temple before dropping a four-set match to Penn to round out the weekend.
In his eighth season at the helm of the LaSalle volleyball program, head coach Dave Stever returns nine letterwinners from last year's team the finished 3-30, including going 0-15 in Atlantic-10 competition. Of the nine returning players, three saw time as starters.
LaSalle hits .112 as a team and is led by junior middle blocker Jacquelyn Mitrovich. Mitrovich has a team-best 62 kills and .268 attack percentage. Outside hitters Lauren Noga and Samantha Tulskie are the top two offensive options for the Explorers. Noga is second on the club with 58 kills, while Tulskie checks in with 556.
LU puts up a strong block at the net, averaging over a block a game. Mitrovich also leads that charge with 22 total blocks. In the back row, the Explorers are anchored by libero Breanna Mazalewski. The sophomore has picked up a team-high 123 digs. Tulskie averages 2.74 digs per set for the LaSalle defense.
All-Time Series vs. the Explorers
Scouting Air Force
AF is led by first-year head coach Matt McShane. McShane's club went 8-21 a year ago, but returns 13 letterwinners, including five starters and its libero from that team.
Offensively, Air Force hits .142 as a team and averages 11.08 kills per set. The Falcons are led by senior outside hitter Caroline Kurtz and senior middle blocker Nichole Stilwell. Kurtz has a team-best 100 kills and leads the way with 4.00 kills per game. Stilwell is the club's most efficient attacker, connecting at a .310 clip. Annalyse Schmitt rounds out the Falcon's top attacking options. The freshman has 57 kills and averages 2.28 kills per set.
Defensively AF holds opponents to .207 hitting. Senior libero Kelly Spencer patrols the back line with a team-high 104 digs-4.16 digs per set. Stilwell is a strong blocker, leading the way with nearly a block per game.
All-Time Series vs. the Falcons
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