Oct. 14, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Memphis Volleyball Notes
The University of Memphis (11-7, 2-4 C-USA) volleyball team will return to the friendly confines of the Elma Roane Fieldhouse for a pair of C-USA matchups this weekend. The Tigers will host Houston in a 7 p.m. tilt on Fri., Oct. 15. Memphis will take on 2009 C-USA Tournament champion, Rice at 1 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 17.
Memphis dropped to 11-7 on the year and 2-4 in C-USA play with a pair of losses at SMU last weekend.
For the second time this year, sophomore outside hitter Altrese Hawkins was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week on October 4. Hawkins validated that honor with 33 kills in seven sets over the weekend. She downed a match-high 16 kills in Saturday's loss and connected for a match-best 17 kills on Sunday. The sophomore eclipsed the 600-kills milestone in just her 49th match. Hawkins, who leads Memphis and ranks fifth in C-USA and 50th in the nation, with a 3.97 kills per set average, is the first Tiger to earn multiple weekly honors in a single season since Shelby Burton in 2006. The Schaumburg, Ill., native also leads the Tigers and rates ninth in the league with a .308 attack percentage and sixth with 4.16 points per set.
Senior libero Christine Bach continues to climb the program's career digs chart. The Dresden, Germany moved into second all-time at Memphis in digs. Bach picked up 39 digs in weekend play, including a season-best 25 digs in the win over Marshall. Bach now has 1,556 career digs.
Sophomore Marija Jovanovic and Vesna Jelic rank No. 1 and No. 2 in Conference USA with 28 and 27 service aces, respectively. The duo is tied for first in the league with 0.42 service aces per set. Jovanovic ranks 31st nationally, while Memphis leads C-USA and ranks ninth in the country, with 1.93 aces per set. Hajnalka Molnar, Maja Kostic and Christine Bach also rank among the league's top-10 in aces.
Saturday's contest saw Memphis players post match-highs in kills, assists, and digs, but the Tigers were unable to overcome a solid attack from SMU, who hit .340 and made 15.5 blocks, in a 3-0 loss.
Tigers sophomore outside hitter Vesna Jelic slammed 13 kills and added 10 digs for her team-high tying third double-double of the year.
Last Time Out
SMU 3, Memphis 1
Memphis (11-7, 2-4 C-USA) 19 25 16 12
SMU (14-4, 6-1 C-USA) 25 19 25 25
DALLAS-For the second consecutive outing, Memphis was unable to solve a strong SMU defense as the Mustangs completed a weekend sweep of the Tigers via a 3-1 decision on Sunday afternoon at Moody Coliseum. Memphis falls to 11-7, 2-4 in league play. SMU improves to 14-4 and 6-1 in C-USA action.
Altrese Hawkins led all players with 17 kills and hit .317. Vesna Jelic downed 13 kills. SMU limited Memphis to .117 hitting. Hajnalka Molnar set 36 assists.
Christine Bach paced the Tigers with a match-high 17 digs. Jelic finished with nine digs.
Houston comes into the weekend sitting in fourth in the league standings at 11-8 overall and 5-2 in conference play. The Cougars are riging the strength of a five-match win streak that includes a pair of four-set victories over 2009 C-USA Regular season champion, Southern Miss.
The Cougars are paced by 2010 Preseason All-C-USA selection, Lucy Charuk. The middle blocker leads the club and ranks second in C-USA with 1.24 blocks per set. Charuk has 16 block solos and 67 block assists. She also leads the way with 204 kills and 267.5 points. Her .345 attack percentage ranks second on the team, but fifth among league hitters.
Chandace Tyron is the club's most efficient hitter, ranking second in the league with a .383 average.
All-Time Series vs. the Cougars
Memphis is just 7-21 all-time versus Houston. The Cougars snapped a six-game losing streak against the Tigers in Houston in 2008 and downed the Tigers 3-1 in Memphis last year. Prior to 2008, Memphis had defeated Houston six-straight times dating back to the 2003 season. The two teams did not play in 2005 due to weather threats from Hurricane Rita.
Winners of four-straight matches, Rice (11-8, 6-1 C-USA) is currently tied for second, with SMU, in the league standings. The Owls lone C-USA loss was a 3-1 setback at Southern Miss.
2009 C-USA Libero of the Year, Tracey Lam, and 2009 co-Setter of the Year, Meredith Schamun lead the Owls defensively and offensively, respectively. Lam, who has hauled in two Defensive Player of the Week honors this year, leads the league with 5.62 digs per set.
All-Time Series vs. the Owls
Memphis leads the all-time series against Rice, 3-2. The Owls have defeated the Tigers in each of the last two meetings (in 2008 and 2009). The series dates back to the 1991 seasons when Memphis pulled out a five-set victory. The Tigers posted a 3-2 win over the Owls in Houston in 2006, and swept Rice in 2007.
Who's Got Next?
Memphis hits the road for a long weekend of C-USA action at UTEP and UCF on October 22 and October 24, respectively. The Tigers will travel to El Paso to take on the Miners at 7 p.m. on Fri., the 24th. They will then head to sunny Orlando for a 1 p.m. contest versus the Knights on Sun., Oct. 24.