Volleyball Set to Take on Belmont Tuesday
Oct. 10, 2005
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Memphis volleyball squad will take the same team it got its season underway with when they face the Belmont Bruins Tues., Oct 11 at 6:30 p.m. The Tiger opened the 2005 season with a hard-fought five-set win over the Bruins at the Arkansas Invitational.
Belmont gave Memphis all it could handle in the season-opener before a strong game-five performance helped the Tigers to their third-straight season-opening win. The win is Memphis's only five-game triumph in four matches this year. Senior Nancy Nellans downed 16 kills, but more notably had 16 digs to become the 10th Tiger to reach the 1,000-kills, 1,000 digs milestone.
Memphis enters the midweek confrontation with an 11-8 mark after dropping a 3-2 decision to UAB on Sunday. However, the Tigers have won three of their last four. The loss to the Blazers was the league setback for the U of M.
Nellans and Liford who have 253 and 201 kills, respectively, pace the Tigers offense. Four U of M hitters are averaging at least 2.00 kills per game, with Melissa Nance leading the team in hitting with a .295 clip. Laura Côtè has run the offense effectively and has tallied 774 assists to go with 52 kills and 30 service aces.
On the defensive side of the net, Memphis has a 1008-896 advantage over its opponents in the digs category. Nellans also leads the team in digs, with 242 (3.51/game) with libero Christen Clayton following closely behind with 239 (3.46/game). Shelby Burton and Nance have team-bests in total blocks with 65 and 64 each.
Belmont comes into the match as winners of five straight contests, including four consecutive shutouts in Atlantic Sun Conference action. The Bruins have notched shutouts in each of the five wins. The Briuns, who are 15-9, have four hitters with at least 200 kills on the year. Lindsey Cleveland leads the way with 295 kills (3.43/game). Katie Tobiasz is averaging 2.90 put-aways per game as Belmont hits .218 as a team. Colleen Nilson has 1,045 assists to go with 244 digs. Cleveland also has 244 digs for Belmont. The defensive anchor is Ashley Collier. The libero leads the team with 312 digs. The Bruins have also blocked well this year, holding a 187.5-160.0 advantage over Memphis. Jaye Schuler has a team-high 86 blocks, while Sara Jacobsen and Tobiasz have 75 and 55 block a piece.
The road has not been overly kind to the Tigers this season, as Memphis has won just three of its seven matches against its hosts. In those seven contests, the Tigers have been held to just .188 hitting while the opponents have posted a .229 average. Belmont has lost just one home match this year--a 3-0 loss to Alabama on Sept. 17.
Memphis and Belmont have met just twice on the volleyball court with the Tigers coming away victorious in both matches. Before the Memphis to open the season, Memphis swept Belmont in a 2002 matchup.