Volleyball Set For Third-Place Battle with Marquette on Friday
Oct. 28, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis volleyball will kick off its two-match Conference USA weekend with a battle for lone possession of third place against Marquette on Fri., Oct. 29 at 7p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The Tigers will then take on a streaking DePaul team on Sat., Oct. 30, also at 7 p.m.
Friday's contest with Marquette will pit the league's two third place teams against one another as the conference season heads into its final stretch before the tournament. The winner will emerge as the lone third-place team, which could weigh heavily on possible C-USA tournament matchups.
Memphis (21-7; 5-2 C-USA) broke a three-match losing streak in grand fashion, with a dominating performance against in-state rival Middle Tennessee on Tuesday. The Tiger offense got a match-high 14 kills out of junior outside hitter Nancy Nellans, while Ashley Liford and Tiara Gilkey finished with 12 and 11 kills each to help Memphis roll to victory. Nellans posted her ninth double-double of the season with 14 digs as an improving U of M defense out dug the Blue Raiders 36-22, while blocking seven attacks.
Memphis' Heather Watts and Christen Clayton continue to keep their names among those in NCAA rankings. Watts remains one the countries top setters, ranking 22nd in the nation with 13.19 assists per game. Her 1,293 total leads all ranked setters. As a team Memphis ranks 29th in assists per game. Clayton checked in at 25 in the nation in aces per game (0.58), while the team ranks 15th.
Marquette (15-5; 5-2 C-USA) is one of C-USA's hottest team coming into the weekend. The Golden Eagles are winners of six straight, including four straight league contests. Led by two-time C-USA Setter of the Week Sarah Vernon, Marquette ranks 27th in the nation in assists, while Theresa Coughlin's 3.95 kills per game has powered them to 30th in kills per game (16.27). Marquette leads the league in hitting defense as they are holding opponents to a .140 hitting clip. The Golden Eagles have held opponents under a .150 hitting percentage on 10 occasions. Memphis leads the all-time series with Marquette, 10-7. The Tigers, who have handed Marquette losses in two of the last three meetings, outlasted the Golden Eagles, 3-2 in Milwaukee last year.
DePaul (10-14; 3-4 C-USA) comes off an undefeated weekend in Conference play. The Blue Demons upset TCU and Houston in consecutive matches. However, they jumped out of C-USA play for a non-league match against UW-Milwaukee on Tuesday and suffered a 3-1 defeated. DePaul boasts current C-USA Co-Player of the Week honoree Janet Goreham. Goreham leads the team with 112 total blocks and is second in kills with 309. The Tigers are 12-7 all-time against the Blue Demons and have swept them two straight seasons.
Saturday night's match with DePaul is Halloween night at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Free admission will be given to all fans with Halloween costumes. There will be a costume contest and Halloween give-a-ways.