Volleyball in Must-Win Situation for Final Home Weekend
Go Tigers! Senior Rachel Theard and the Tigers wrap up the home schedule this weekend.
Go Tigers!
Senior Rachel Theard and the Tigers wrap up the home schedule this weekend.
Go Tigers!

Oct. 30, 2009

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -

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The University of Memphis volleyball will round out its home schedule with a pair of C-USA matches versus Southern Miss and UCF this weekend. The Tigers and Golden Eagles will meet tonight at 7 p.m. Memphis will host UCF on Sun, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.

With a 1-10 mark in league play, and five matches remaining, Memphis is still in the hunt to earn a C-USA Tournament berth. In efforts to save money, the league reduced its tournament field from 12 teams to eight teams prior to the season. Memphis is still within striking distance of an eighth-place finish, but must win out to clinch.

The Tigers look to snap a four-match road skid and continue their recent success at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis has three of its last four home contests.

Memphis is led by freshman standouts Altrese Hawkins and Maja Jovanovic. Hawkins leads the club with 256 kills and a .259 attack percentage. Meanwhile, Jovanovic has connected for a team-best 3.66 kills per set. The two have combined for 373 kills this year.

Setter Christine Bach moved into the program's top-10 in digs and currently has 1,260 career digs. She is second on the team with 243 digs this season. Junior libero Becky Shaffer leads the Tiger's defensive efforts with 375 digs.

Scouting the Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Southern Miss sits atop the C-USA standings with a 21-4 overall record and a stout 9-2 mark in league play. The Golden Eagles have won eight of the last nine and are 8-2 on the road this year.

Two-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, Ashley Mell leads USM and ranks ninth in the league with 297 kill (3.38 k/s).

Maia Ivanova leads the team and ranks fifth in C-USA with 4.52 digs per set. She is the sixth C-USA player to reach 1,800 career digs.

All-time Series vs. Southern Miss
Memphis is 23-13 all-time against Southern Miss. USM downed the U of M, 3-1 on Oct. 2. The Tigers and Golden Eagles split the 2008 season series. Memphis won seven-straight against Southern Miss from 2004-07. The Golden Eagles have not beaten the Tigers twice in a season since 2000.

Scouting the UCF Knights
Currently in ninth place in the leagues standings, UCF is just a game out of C-USA Tournament contention. The Knights are 11-13 overall and 3-8 in league competition.

Senior outside hitter Erin Campbell leads the Knights offense with 304 kills. She is just one of six C-USA players with over 300 terminations this year. Her 3.66 kills per set average ranks sixth in the league, while her 4.20 points per set is fourth. Campbell, who leads the team with nine double-double performances, is assisted by Kristin Fisher and Sara Rex. Fisher ranks 13th in the conference in kills per set at 3.17, while Rex is the team's most efficient hitter with a .285 percentage.

Defensively, the Knights are anchored by libero Meredith Murphy's 4.27 digs per set.

All-Time Series vs. UCF
Memphis leads the all-time series 10-7. The series dates back to the 1979 season, when UCF handed Memphis a 2-1 defeat. Memphis came away with 2-0 sweeps in 1980 and `81. The two split the season series in 2008, with both teams winning on its home floor. Since UCF joined Conference USA in 2005, the Tigers are 7-3 versus the Knights. UCF has never swept a season series from Memphis.

Up Next
Memphis will hit the road for its final three matches of the 2009 regular season. The Tigers will travel to East Carolina and Marshall for contests on November 6 and 8, respectively. They round out the regular season at UAB on Nov. 14.



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