Tiger Volleyball Hits the Road for Final C-USA Weekend
Nov. 10, 2005
GREENVLLE N.C. -- - The University of Memphis volleyball squad will round out its regular-season schedule this weekend when it travels to ECU and Marshall for a pair of Conference USA contests on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Memphis (7-5 C-USA) can secure a fourth-place finish in the league's regular season standings thus claiming a bye in next week's C-USA Tournament in Houston.
To claim the fourth-seed, Memphis must at least defeat East Carolina on Friday, and get split weekends from both SMU (7-6) and UTEP (8-6). The Mustangs and Miners meet in El Paso on Friday.
Memphis enters the weekend after a 3-1 win over Tulane on Senior Day. Sophomore Shelby Burton leads the team and is 10th in C-USA with a .300 hitting clip after slamming double figures in kills in six of the last seven matches. Burton nailed 18 kills and hit .573 against Tulane and is fourth with a .351 percentage in league play. The San Antonio native also leads the team with 95 total blocks. Her 1.22 blocks per game against C-USA opponents is also fourth among all league performers. Freshman Laura Côtè leads the league and is eighth all-time at Memphis with 1,318 total assists. Her 11.77 assists per game is sixth in the league. Defensively, Christen Clayton leads the team and ranks ninth in the conference with 3.77 digs per game. Her 422 digs is a single-season record at Memphis. Senior Nancy Nellans, who leads the Tigers with 380 kills, also has 411 digs--10th in the league.
ECU, who holds the sixth-place position in the league standings, is 16-10 on the year. The Pirates have won three straight matches and are led in hitting by Mignon Dubenion's .317 percentage. The sophomore ranks fifth in the league in all matches, and is sixth at .333 in C-USA matches. They hit .248 as a team. Pam Ferris leads the squad with 381 kills. Her 4.01 kills per game average is seventh among all C-USA players. Ferris also has 272 digs, 36 service aces and a team-high 13 double-doubles. Kim Jefferson has come on strong as of late, posting 2.30 kills per game on 145 total kills. Heidi Krug runs the offense, is ranked 21st in the nation and second in the conference with 13.08 assists per game. Jaime Bevan and Trish Monroe anchor the ECU defense. Bevan has a team-best 60 blocks, while Monroe has 363 digs (4.08/g)--sixth in C-USA.
Marshall, 21-5 overall, sits atop the C-USA standings with a 13-1 mark. That one loss came at the hands of the Tigers on Oct. 16 and is the Thundering Herd's only loss in the last 15 matches. MU leads the league in hitting, opponent hitting, assists, kills, blocks and aces. Three-time C-USA Player of the Week honoree, Kelly-Anne Billingy and two-time C-USA Setter of the Week winner, Katie Stein lead the Herd, who are undefeated in seven home matches this year. Since losing to the Tigers, Marshall has lost just one game in seven matches. MU has swept its last six contests. Billingy ripped 38 kills against the Tigers in October--a mark that stands as a match-high in C-USA play. The sophomore leads the league and is fourth nationally with 5.65 kills per game (430 kills). She earned AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 31. Billingy is second in the league with a .360 hitting percentage, behind teammate Nickie Sanlin, who is hitting .368 with 172 kills. The Herd ranks 21 in the country with a .271 attack percentage, 18th nationally with 15.2 assists per game, and 27th with 16.4 kills per game. Stein leads the league in aces (.62/g) and assists per game (13.92).
The Tigers have never lost to ECU in seven matches, while they are 1-0 against Marshall after the 3-2 win.