Memphis Set to Take on SMU in Weekend Action
Oct. 7, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Riding the momentum of consecutive Conference USA wins, the University of Memphis volleyball team (11-5; 2-2 C-USA) will make the trip to Dallas, Texas to take on SMU in a pair matches, October 9-10. The Tigers and Mustangs will square off on Saturday at Noon, before wrapping up the weekend with a 2 p.m. contest on Sunday.
Last Time Out
Memphis (11-5, 2-2 C-USA) 25 21 25 25 East Carolina (1-15, 0-4 C-USA) 18 25 22 13GREENVILLE, N.C. - Altrese Hawkins hit .529 with 21 kills and Memphis withstood determined effort by East Carolina to come away with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at ECU's Minges Coliseum. The Tigers, who hit a robust .336 for the match, improve to 11-5 overall and 2-2 in Conference USA play with their second-straight league victory. ECU falls to 1-15 on the year and 0-4 in C-USA action.
Memphis put together its second team effort in as many contest. The Tigers recorded a 59-36 advantage in kills, a 55-32 cushion in assists and 43-30 lead in digs. Marija Jovanovic and Vesna Jelic complimented Altrese Hawkins' performance with 16 and 13 kills, respectively. In all, the Tiger's offense got a combined 50 kills from the Tiger trio. Jovanovic added three service aces. Setter Hajnalka Molnar set a match-best 47 assists, while libero Christine Bach picked up a match-high 14 digs in the Memphis back row.
Dating back to its 3-1 win over TCU on Sept. 21, SMU has won five of its last six matches, including four of its last five C-USA tilts. The Mustangs swept UAB twice in the opening weekend of league play and outlasted both Tulane and Southern Miss in five, last weekend. SMU opened the season 5-0, before dropping a four-set decision to UC-Davis. Their three losses have come to UC-Davis, New Mexico and Wichita State.
SMU relies on its strong defense for its success. The Mustangs lead C-USA, holding opponents to a league-low .179 attack percentage, while leading the league with 155 total blocks and ranking second in the league and 33rd nationally with 2.46 rejections per set. Six Mustangs have recorded 20 or more blocks. Courtney Manning's 81 blocks (1.29 blk/s) leads the way with Caitlin Adair and Jessica Oliver following close behind with 60 (1.03 blk/s) and 52 (0.90 blk/s), respectively. Manning leads the league with 13 solos. The Mustangs also lead the conference and rates 12th in the country with 17.67 digs per set (1,113 total). Libero Sidney Stewart leads the back row and ranks fifth in C-USA with 298 digs (4.73 d/s). Kathryn Wilkerson and Dana Powell average over 3.00 digs per set.
SMU is led by the offensive prowess of Powell. Powell, a 2009 Second Team All-C-USA honoree, was named to the 2010 Preseason All-C-USA squad and she has lived up to that billing. She leads the team with 218 kills and ranks eighth in the league with 3.46 kills per set. Powell also ranks in the league's top-10 with 3.88 points per set. Wilkerson is second on the club with 188 kills, while Oliver and Manning average 2.98 kills and 2.48 kills per set each.
The Mustangs offense is run by setter Kelli Becerra. Becerra, who earned C-USA Setter of the Week honors in the opening weekend of the season, averages 10.71 assists per set-good for third in Conference USA and 32nd nationally. Becerra also leads SMU with 12 service aces.
All-Time Series vs. the Mustangs
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