Shelby Burton and Christen Clayton Earn C-USA Weekly Honors
Oct. 30, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Senior libero Christen Clayton and junior middle blocker Shelby Burton earned this week's Conference USA Volleyball Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week awards after leading Memphis to league wins over UTEP and Tulane to stay in third place in the standings, only a game behind the co-leaders in the win column at 9-3. Both players garner the league's weekly awards for the second time this year. For Clayton, this is the second time in three weeks she has been tabbed the Defensive Player of the Week. Memphis has earned the league honors for the last three weeks.
The league's leading hitter, Burton was the driving force behind a successful weekend for Memphis. Burton downed 12 or more kills in all three matches to average 4.18 kills per game and 5.27 points per set (58 points) as Memphis raced to its fifth and sixth-straight C-USA wins. In three matches this week, the Tiger middle hitter pounded a combined 46 kills, hit .384 and made 15 blocks. In addition, she served up three aces to move into the league's top spot in service aces. Burton's week was highlighted by a stellar performance at UTEP, in which the Memphis junior put away 18 balls, hit .517 and made six blocks in a sweep of the Miners. She then answered that outing with 12 kills, a .346 hitting percentage and six more blocks to help guide Memphis to victory at Tulane. She downed 16 kills and added a pair of service aces to three blocks at Ole Miss on Tuesday.
Clayton was the anchor for the Memphis' back row defense this week, posting 7.00 digs per contest in three matches. For the week she posted 77 digs, making 24 or more in all three matches. She opened the week with a 29-dig (9.67 dpg) effort in four games at Ole Miss, and then helped Memphis to a pair of league wins on the road at UTEP and Tulane. In the Tigers sweep of UTEP, Clayton turned in a match-high 24 digs to go with a service ace and an assist. The Houston, Texas native closed the week out with yet another strong outing, making 24 digs, with two assists and an ace as Memphis posted its second-straight road win and sixth consecutive Conference USA victory with a 3-1 win at Tulane. With her 77 digs this week, Clayton moved into fifth place on the all-time digs chart in C-USA history.
Memphis will wrap up its home schedule, and put its 13-match win streak on the line this weekend with matches against Marshall on Friday, and ECU on Sunday. Sunday will be senior day for the Tigers two senior co-captains Clayton and Melissa Nance.