Volleyball Hosts Ole Miss, Tuesday
Oct. 20, 2003
MEMPHIS , Tenn. - The University of Memphis volleyball team (21-2, 4-1 C-USA) will wrap up a four-match home stand with a non-conference meeting with Ole Miss (4-18, 2-6 SEC), Tuesday, at 7 p.m.
The Tigers come into the match with a four-match win streak, including a 6-0 mark in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse so far this season.
The Rebels come into the Tuesday non-conference clash looking to snap a mini two-game losing streak. In three previous meetings against Conference USA schools earlier this season, Ole Miss is 1-2, with the win being a 3-0 sweep of UAB exactly one week before they face the Tigers. Memphis swept UAB the following Friday, 3-0.
The series history between the two foes, the oldest opponent in the Tiger record books, is tied at 32 apiece, but Memphis' last win over Ole Miss was a 3-2 win in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse back in 2001. In Head Coach Carrie Yerty's seven previous seasons in Memphis, the Tigers are 2-5 against the Rebels.
Ole Miss has been getting consistent offensive performances from a pair of outside hitters and sophomore middle Rachel Refenes. Junior otuside Elena Garcia leads the team with 3.56 kills per game, while freshman outside Jaclyn Toohey is adding 2.97 kills per game while playing in 65 of the Rebels' 79 games so far this year. Refenes is adding 2.57 kills per game, and leads the team with 25 block solos and 84 total blocking (1.06/game). At 6-3, Refenes will be the tallest player the Tigers have faced so far this year, which will be a new challenge for the Tiger hitters. Freshman middle Jillian Ohrman will also offer up a big block opposite Refenes in the middle. Ohrman, who is averaging almost a block per game, is a 5-11 freshman, one of seven Rebel newcomers for the 2003 roster.
Head Coach Joe Gerzin is in his second at the helm of the Rebels' program, helping the team triple its attendance last season and improving the team's win total by four from the previous season. Prior to his taking over the Ole Miss program, Gerzin was the top assistant coach at South Carolina. Gerzin will bring a Memphis product with him to Tuesday night's match, as St. Agnes graduate Megan McCune, a 5-10 outside from Millington, will return to the Memphis area. McCune is averaging 1.14 kills per game and is fourth on the team in digs with 102, while playing in all 79 games.
Memphis will look to continue spreading its offense around the team, with a trio of Tiger hitters averaging well over three kills per game, and the team hitting .265 so far this season. Led by junior Tiara Gilkey's 4.07 kills per game, Memphis is averaging almost five kills per game more than its opponents so far this year, and has used an aggressive serving strategy to double-up their opponents in that category, 202-91. But Ole Miss will bring two big blockers to Tuesday night's contest, and Memphis has only recently started out-blocking or coming close to getting more blocks than their opponents.
The non-conference match will be the Tigers' second-to-last foray out of Conference USA. The Tigers will play their last non-conference match, Sunday, at Chicago State, after facing two C-USA opponents on the road in the previous two days. After three matches in five days last week, Memphis has four matches over six days this coming week.
The Ole Miss game will also be Youth Night for the Tigers. All youths under 18 will be admitted free of charge. The match begins at 7 p.m. in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.