Volleyball Trio Returns to Texas This Weekend
Oct. 9, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - It will be a weekend of homecomings for a trio of Texas volleyball players with the University of Memphis volleyball team. Senior Brittany Barnett (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands), sophomore Kristen Hardee (Sante Fe, Texas/Sante Fe) and freshman Christen Clayton (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake) will all have opportunities to play in front of family and friends when Memphis faces TCU, Friday, at 7 p.m., and Houston, Saturday, at 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers have also packed a 14-match win streak, and currently are 17-1 overall and 1-0 in Conference USA. But the Tigers suffered setbacks to both Texas-based league foes last year in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, one of three home conference losses for Memphis.
Against TCU, Memphis is 1-1. Memphis won in Fort Worth two years ago, TCU's first in the league, but expects to find a more electric environment and a much more competitive team than they did in 2002.
"TCU will be excited to play at home," Yerty said. "They're coming off a pair of tough conference road losses and will be playing at home in their new volleyball facility."
TCU is 15-6 overall and 0-2 in Conference USA following losses at Tulane and Southern Miss last weekend. At Tulane, the Horned Frogs won game one before the Green Wave came back to win games two thru four. The Horned Frogs are led by third team all-conference honoree Dominika Szabo and University of Florida transfer Ellen Rehme. The Horned Frogs, an outside-oriented team similar to the Tigers, also expect double-digit outings from freshman Jenna Miller and freshman middle Anna Vaughn. With a senior setter, Toni Barlow, the Horned Frogs will be looking to prove their 3-2 in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse last year was no fluke.
Houston is an opponent that has had the Tigers' number for a long time. The Cougars lead the series history 18-2, and Memphis has never won in Houston under Yerty. A perennial NCAA tournament team, the Cougars are hurt and playing with a young roster for Head Coach Bill Walton. With a 4-12 overall mark and an 0-2 record in C-USA, the Cougars will be happy to be playing back at home having already faced nationally-ranked opponents such as Notre Dame and Texas A&M this season.
Houston lost four starters and eight letterwinners from last year's 19-13 squad, and have recently been without two of their freshman who saw significant playing time early in the season. Middle Becca Sartori and outside Lauren Rhodes have not played since Sept. 19th, and the recent Houston box scores have the Cougar roster playing just seven or eight individuals in games.
The Houston match will mark the end of a long, road-trip heavy portion of the Tiger schedule. After playing 17 of their first 20 matches on the road, the Tigers will finally return home to host cross-town rival, Christian Brothers, Tuesday at 7 p.m. That will be followed by a Friday match against UAB, a Saturday match against USF, and a Tuesday match against SEC foe Ole Miss.