Volleyball Opens C-USA Schedule with Weekend Matches versus Tulsa
Sept. 24, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Memphis volleyball will open its Conference USA season this weekend when it host Tulsa in a pair of league matchups on Sept. 25 and 26. Both contests between the Tigers and Golden Hurricane are scheduled for a 1 p.m. first serve at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
"Of course there is anticipation to start the CUSA season," said third-year Memphis head coach April Jauregui. "However, with the new format this year every game is of equal importance. I believe our team has progressed according to the goals and plan we mapped out this summer. We have reached where we need to be at this point in the season. From here on out it is about maintaining that level and having a solid game plan week in and week out. It is about us going out and improving, enjoying what we are doing, and staying focused on our goals. All we can control is what we do on our side of the net."
Off to its best start under Jauregui and since 2006, Memphis improved to 9-3 with wins over Jackson State and Northwestern State at the UCA Sugar Bear Classic. Winners of six of the seven matches, the Tigers claimed the runner-up trophy in the final non-conference weekend. Sophomore right side hitter Marija Jovanovic and sophomore setter Hajnalka Molnar were named to the UCA Sugar Bear Classic All-Tournament team.
Memphis is led by the offensive attack of Altrese Hawkins and Jovanovic. Hawkins leads the club with 167 kills (3.80 k/s) and a .322 attack percentage. Hawkins rated in the top-10 in C-USA in both categories. Jovanovic ranks second on the team with 125 kills. Sophomore Vesna Jelic leads the squad and Conference USA with 18 service aces and a 0.43 aces per set average.
Senior libero Christine Bach continues to climb the program's career digs chart. The Dresden, Germany native picked up 35 digs over the weekend to move into third all-time at Memphis with 1,451 career digs. She leads the team with 153 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Cassidy Hawkins is the team's top blocker with 33 total blocks.
Since beginning play in Conference USA in 1995, Memphis is 10-5 in C-USA openers. The 2010 season marks the eighth time for Memphis to open its league schedule at home. In the seven previous matchups, Memphis is 3-4. The Tigers are 1-1 when opening C-USA at home under April Jauregui.
Last Time Out
Memphis (9-3) 25 25 25 Northwestern State (8-5) 12 14 13CONWAY, Ark. -- Marija Jovanovic downed a match-high 10 kills and Hajnalka Molnar set a match-best 31 assists as Memphis cruised to a straight-set victory over Northwestern State in its final match at the UCA Sugar Bear Classic Saturday. The Tigers improve to 9-3 on the season and finish as the Classic's runner-up. Jovanovic and Molnar were each named to the UCA Sugar Bear Classic All-Tournament team.
After struggling in a 3-0 loss at UCA on Friday night, Memphis came out firing on Saturday. The Tigers hit .431 for the match and posted a plus-18 advantage in kills. Meanwhile the Tiger's defense held NSU to a .086 clip.
After getting a combined four swings in the loss to UCA on Friday night, the Memphis middle blocking crew of Cassidy Hawkins and Katie Meyer put together a pair of solid performances. The duo combined for 13 kills and a .667 attack percentage. Cassidy Hawkins totaled seven kills and hit .636. Meyer hit .714 on six kills and just one error. For the first time this season, outside hitter Altrese Hawkins did not reach double-figures in kills, finishing with eight.
Libero Christine Bach led all performers with nine digs. Jelic, who served up four aces, added eight digs for the Memphis defense.
Tulsa sports one of the league's most powerful offenses. The Golden Hurricane leads the league in hitting (.272), kills per set (14.86) and assists (14.11), while ranking second in C-USA, holding opponents to a .180 attacking clip. TU ranked third and fourth in assists and kills, respectively in the latest NCAA stats report.
Armed with setter Jordan Clampitt, Tyler Henderson and Hannah Stout, Tulsa boasts one of the strongest 1-2-3 punches in the nation. Henderson, the most prominent of the three, leads the nation with 6.61 kills per set and 7.06 points per set. Henderson ranks eighth in C-USA with a .315 hitting percentage. Henderson has connected for at least 16 kills in all 11 matches and has totaled at least 20 kills nine times. The sophomore, who was tabbed the 2009 C-USA Freshman of the year, has ripped down a league-best 238 kills. Henderson earned several honors after downing 554 kills in her freshman campaign, including 2009 AVCA Honorable Mention All-America, AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team and Midwest Region Freshman of the Year honors.
Clampitt leads the country with 13.33 assists per set, while Stout leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with a .359 attack percentage. Stout ranks 37th nationally in hitting.
Defensively, TU is led by libero Jessica Addams. Adams has a team-high 170 digs, good four fourth in the league at 4.72 digs per set.
All-Time Series vs. Golden Hurricane
Last Time vs. Tulsa
Memphis (5-18, 1-6 C-USA) 18 21 10 Tulsa (15-5, 5-2 C-USA) 25 25 25TULSA, Okla. -- Lauren Thompson downed a team-high 10 kills, Christine Bach handed out a match-high 29 assists and Becky Shaffer also picked up a match-high 18 digs, but a stiff Tulsa defense limited the Tigers to .097 hitting in 3-0 decision on October 16, 2009.
Memphis, who fell to 5-18 on the year, did not help its cause with 11 service aces in the contest.
The Golden Hurricane offense was led by Tyler Henderson's 11 kills. Eichler added 10 terminations. Rachel Vukson and Jordan Clampitt both recorded 19 assists for Tulsa, who hit a collective .333 in the match. Jessica Adams led the TU defense with 17 digs. Kenealy made six total blocks.
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