Volleyball Set for Rematch with UAB
Sept. 28, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Just 10 days after suffering its second loss of the season and first of the C-USA campaign, the University of Memphis volleyball team looks to keep pace in the league standings with a rematch with UAB on Friday night. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Memphis is off to a 15-2 start through 17 matches--the program's second-best start ever. It is second only to the 2003 team's 16-1 start through 17 contests. Over the last three years the Tigers have thrived when playing at home. Since 2004, Memphis is 26-3 at home, including turning in an 8-1 mark this year.
Senior libero Christen Clayton will highlight Friday night's matchup for the Tigers. The Houston, Texas native is just 11 digs shy of Memphis' career digs record set by Amie Hamilton from 1998-2001. Clayton has recorded 10 or more digs in 16 of the Tigers' 17 matches, including tying a career-high with 32 digs against Rice on Sunday. Clayton entered the season with 1,187 digs and now ranks second all-time with 1,480 digs. She has reached double figures in digs 81 times in her career, including reaching the 20-dig plateau 12 times and 30 digs once.
Junior middle blocker Shelby Burton currently leads the team and ranks 22nd nationally in service aces. She is also tops in Conference USA and 11th in the country with a .449 attack percentage. For her career, Burton holds a .355 attack percentage-second highest average in Memphis volleyball history.
UAB enters this one-match weekend ranked third in the C-USA standings--just one spot in front of the Tigers. The Blazers have won 12 of the last 14 matches, including going on a 10-match win streak from Sept. 6-22. With wins over Memphis and Rice, UAB got off to a 2-0 start in league play. Its 10-match win streak and its flawless conference mark was snapped on Sunday when they were swept by Houston.
The Blazers have dominated opponents offensively, holding a 931-732 advantage in the kills department. UAB is ranked first in C-USA with 159 service aces. They are second in the league--behind Memphis--in attack percentage, checking in at .258. They are also second in the conference, holding opponents to a .155 clip.
Ivan Bozic is the featured hitter in the Blazer offense. The right side hitter leads the team in kills (298), service aces (35) and points (348), while ranking second with 177 digs. She ranks in the conference's top-5 in kills, aces and points. Fernanda Domingos is second on the team with 174 kills. She ranks 10th in the league with 26 service aces. Middle hitter Casey Dent leads the team in hitting percentage, hitting .348--good for fourth in C-USA. Setter Nevena Stefanova runs the offense and is third in the league with 756 assists.
Defensively, Brianna Galvin has a team-best 244 digs, while Dent and Shaniquwa Cooper lead the blocking charge with 48 and 37 blocks, respectively.
The Tigers have won 14 of the last 18 meetings against UAB dating back to the 1996 season. The two teams split last year's series, with Memphis sweeping the Blazers in the C-USA opener only to fall to UAB in five games in Birmingham just five days later. The Tigers look to split the season series for the second consecutive year after dropping a 3-2 match to the Blazers on Sept. 19. Memphis leads the all-time series 33-9.