Memphis Freshman Leads Conference USA in Service Aces
Sept. 10, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Freshman outside hitter Nancy Nellans, a 2002 graduate of St. Joseph's High School in South Bend, is currently leading Conference USA with 0.94 service aces per game (29 aces in 31 games). Nellans has 10 more aces than second-place Sarah Vick from East Carolina University.
Nellans also shares the C-USA freshman record for service aces in a game after Nellans aced Arkansas State nine times in a 3-0 win during the Cal's Steakhouse Memphis Tournament last weekend. It was the second consecutive weekend Nellans threatened the freshman serving record set by Cincinnati's Julie DuPont in 2001. Nellans served up eight aces in a 3-0 win over Charleston Southern at the Georgia Southern tournament to open the season.
"Nancy changed her serve at the beginning of the season," Memphis Head Coach Carrie Yerty said. "She changed to a deep float that, with her strength and power, enable her to put great pace on the ball which other teams are having trouble passing."
Nellans has already made an impact on the Memphis Tiger line-up just nine matches into her collegiate career. She is third on the team with 84 kills (2.71/game) and has started six of the Tigers' first nine matches of the year.
"It's been a really pleasant surprise to have Nancy come in and step up and earn playing time right away," Yerty said. "We have spent the last week working with her on not just focusing on the power game. She is such a power player, that we are telling her to work on her shot selection and see the block a little better. But she is such a fiery player who fires up her teammates that we need to continue to keep her in our lineup."
Nellans is one of three Indiana natives on the Tiger roster. She is joined by fellow freshmen Lauren Berg (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) and Ashley Green (Indianapolis, Ind./Brefeuf Jesuit Prep). Berg, who is playing the team's libero position, a new position to college volleyball beginning this season, is currently eighth in C-USA with 3.31 digs per game. She is one of just two freshmen to rank in the top 10 in digs in the conference.
The Tigers continue to participate in tournaments for the next two weekends, traveling to Yale University to face Sacred Heart, Lehigh, Marist and host Yale. The final tournament of the Tiger pre-season will be at Boston College, where Memphis will face Gardner Webb, Boston College and Wagner.