Tiger Volleyball Remains on the Road for Opening Weekend of Conference-USA Action
Sept. 29, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Head Coach Carrie Yerty and the University of Memphis volleyball team will finally open the Conference USA slate this weekend, when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. for a battle with Southern Miss on Fri., Sept. 30,followed by a match with UCF in Orlando on Sun., Oct. 2. Match times are set for 7 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
The Tigers, who were set to open the C-USA schedule last weekend at Houston, have lost five straight. However, they look to get back on the winning track behind the arm of senior Nancy Nellans. Nellans leads the team on both sides of the net with 194 kills and 194 digs. The South Bend, Ind. Native moved into fourth-place all-time in kills at Memphis in the Tigers last match. She has downed 1,396 kills and is just 35 away from passing Holly Buford for the third spot on the list. Behind Nellans is sophomore Ashley Liford, who has nailed 145 kills. Freshman setter Laura Côté runs the offense and has set 581 assists in rookie campaign. She is currently third on the squad with 132 digs. Sophomore Shelby Burton and junior Melissa Nance lead the way at the net, with 47 blocks each.
Memphis is 7-3 in Conference USA openers dating back to the league's inaugural season in 1995. The Tigers have opened the league slate with wins in each of the last two years.
Southern Miss (4-4) was also affected by Hurricane Rita last weekend, as both of the Golden Eagles matches were cancelled. USM did, however, get its C-USA season underway on Tuesday with a 3-1 loss at UCF. Freshman Ashley Petrinec is the Golden Eagles leading attacker with 103 kills. Petrinec is the lone USM player with at least 100 kills. Amber Bloom is second with 83 kills, but she leads the squad with 3.32 kills per game. Amanda Blunck is the defensive anchor for the Golden Eagles, leading the team with 155 digs (4.48/g). USM has dropped two in a row.
Memphis is 16-11 all-time against Southern Miss. The Tigers cruised to a 3-1 win at USM last year, but have lost three of the last five against the Golden Eagles.
C-USA newcomer UCF is 3-5 on the young season, but opened league play with a 3-1 win over USM. The Golden Knights got off to a slow start, at 0-4, but have since won three of its last four contests. They are hitting just .197 as a team. Maina Heming and Jana Mitchell lead the way with 86 and 83 kills, respectively. Katie Kohnen's 95 digs (3.39/g) leads the team defensively.
The U of M is 3-3 against UCF, including a 3-1 win over the Golden Knights at the BYU Mizuno Classic in Provo, Utah last season. Before last year's meeting, Memphis and UCF had not met on the volleyball court since 1995. UCF came away with a 3-0 triumph.