Volleyball Seniors Sweep C-USA Weekly Honors
Sept. 20, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - For the first time in the program's history, a pair of Tigers combined to sweep the Conference USA weekly awards as senior Tiara Gilkey was named Player of the Week, while senior setter Heather Watts was named Setter of the Week as announced by the Conference on Monday.
"I am really excited," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "This is the first time in school history that we have had two Players of the Week, which is great."
Watts receives the Setter of the Week honors for the second time this season after guiding Memphis to a 4-1 record this week, including leading the team to the MSU/Microtel Classic title this weekend at Mississippi State. The senior put up numbers worthy of recognition during the week as she led the Memphis squad by dishing out a team-high 263 assists on the week. She posted match-highs in assists in all five contests, including a season-high 68 assists in a 3-2 win over Eastern Kentucky. She led the Tigers to a sweep of the competition at the MSU/Microtel Classic. In addition, the senior captain had 15 kills and 57 digs on her way to three double-double performances. A leader on the court, Watts posted 45 or more assists in four of the week's five matches, including 68 and 59 in the last two matches, respectively. She put up double digits in digs in three contests. The Sandy, Utah native hit 1.000 with six kills and added nine digs in the Tiger's 3-0 sweep of La. Tech.
"I am really excited for Heather because, although she was not selected for the all-tournament team, she had a stellar weekend," Yerty said. "She averaged almost 14 assists per game and was a great leader all weekend from the first point to the end of the match on Saturday. It is exciting that she was selected and noticed for her great play."
Gilkey garners Player of the Week honors for the second in her career. She proved to be the key element of the Tiger's attack this week as she led Memphis to the MSU/Microtel Classic championship before being named the tournament's MVP. The St. Louis, Mo. native led the team in kills, attempts and digs for the week. She posted season-high numbers in the Eastern Kentucky win with 25 kills, 58 attempts and 26.5 points. Her 20 digs against Arkansas State also tied a season-high for Memphis. She put up double-doubles in each match this week, downing match-highs in kills in three of the five matches. The Tiger's number one attack option has now posted seven consecutive double-doubles and has 10 in the last 11 contests.
"I am also excited for Tiara," said Yerty. "This is her second Player of the Week Award. It is great that she is being recognized for playing great."
"Our team really stepped up after the Arkansas State match," Yerty said. "We had a great week of practice and it was evident that we focused on some of the things we worked on and worked hard to have a better all-around performance as a team. It was also exciting that Nancy Nellans had a great performance as well as Ashley Liford and some of our other players. The C-USA Player of the Week selections should be shared and appreciated by the whole program."
Memphis now prepares to travel to North Carolina for a single match with Davidson on Sept. 22, followed by their fourth tournament in as many weekends. Memphis will participate in the UNC-Greensboro Tournament on Fri., Sept. 24 and Sat., Sept. 25. Memphis will face UNC-Asheville at 3 p.m. on Friday, before a doubleheader with Morgan State and UNCG on the Saturday.