Volleyball Hits the Road for C-USA Weekend at Marshall and ECU
Sept. 26, 2008
HUNTINGTON, W.Va - Winners in six of its last seven outings, the University of Memphis will take its act on the road this weekend for a pair of tough C-USA matches at Marshall on Sept. 26 and East Carolina on Sept. 28. Match times are set for 6 p.m. and Noon EST.
At 10-4 and nearing the midpoint of the 2008 season, Memphis rides a wave of momentum into the weekend's schedule. Wins over UAB--in the Conference USA opener--and FIU highlighted a 3-1 effort last week. The team leads the league and ranks 13th nationally in blocking with 2.78 stuffs per set. That surge is led by the nation's leader blocker, Tiger sophomore Emily Underwood. The 6-3 middle blocker tops the NCAA's list in blocking with 1.83 blocks per set. Underwood has gotten plenty of help from her back row defense and the play of libero Christine Bach. Bach is the team leader in digs. Her 4.78 digs per set is second among C-USA players and 28th nationally.
Offensively, the Tigers are led by senior Laura Côté. Côté ranks fourth in Conference USA with 10.15 assists per set. Her top options are her outsides Katlin Inglish and Lauren Thompson. Both have taken a team-high 433 swings. Inglish has 140 kills, while Thompson has 139. Right side hitter Rebekah Strickland leads the team in hitting, checking in at .345--fifth in the league.
The Thundering Herd is 7-4 on the year and dropped its C-USA opener at ECU last weekend. Despite that loss, they have won three of the last four contests. Marshall is led by Preseason All-conference players Jalicia Ross and setter Elizabeth Fleming. One of two seniors on the Marshall roster, Ross leads the team, C-USA and ranks 12th in the nation with a potent .419 attack percentage. She has committed just 18 errors on 186 attacks. She also leads MU's defense with 32 total blocks. A sophomore, Fleming is third in Conference USA with 10.32 assists per set. Junior outside hitters Kristin Marcum and Emily Sullivan are the squad's two leading terminators with 117 and 115 kills, respectively. On defense, Marshall is led by freshman libero Jessica Dhoore's 112 digs.
All-Time Series vs. Marshall Memphis has not seen much success against Marshall, bringing a 1-5 all-time series record into Friday's contest. The Tigers have not won in three matches played in Huntington, W. Va. In the last meeting, Marshall spoiled Memphis' Senior Day, by handing the Tigers a 3-0 loss on Nov. 11, 2007. The last time the two institutions met at Marshall, Memphis jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to see it evaporate into a 3-2 loss. Of the six times the teams have met, three have gone the distance, including the first-ever meeting, when the Tigers squeaked out a thrilling five-set win in 2005. However, it has been all Marshall since.
Scouting ECU The Pirates have had a highly successful 2008 campaign, logging an 11-5 record through the first 16 matches. They are 7-1 at home. ECU opened the 5-0 with five sweeps, but since has played just one game over .500. They defeated Marshall, 3-1, in the C-USA opener last week. ECU has not fared well in five-set matches, recording a 0-3 record in such contests. The Pirates have five players with 100 or more kills, led by freshman outside hitter Amanda Lutzow's 118 kills. Sophomore middles Erica Banning and Lizzy Bruin have downed 101 and 110 kills each. Banning leads the team with a .326 attack percentage.
Banning also is the team's top blocker with 41 total rejections. The Pirates lone senior, libero Trish Monroe leads the way on the back line with 255 digs (4.55 dps).
All-Time Series vs. ECU Memphis leads the all-time series versus ECU, 9-3. The Tigers swept the 2007 series and the Pirates took both matches in 2006. In the last meeting, it was Memphis sweeping past East Carolina in the final home weekend of the season. The Tigers are 3-2 all-time at ECU. Memphis won each of the series' first seven contests.
Both matches will be viewable on gametracker.