Volleyball Set for First Round Matchup with UCF
Nov. 14, 2007
HUNTINGTON, W.V. - The fifth-seeded University of Memphis volleyball team will begin is run toward a C-USA title tomorrow when it takes on No. 12 UCF in the first round of the 2007 C-USA Championships. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.
At 22-11, 11-5 in C-USA play, Memphis is led by seniors Ashley Liford and Shelby Burton. Both seniors earned C-USA postseason honors. Burton is Memphis' all-time hitting leader with a .371 career attack percentage. She leads the team with a .388 attack percentage, 37 aces and 165 total blocks. Burton is second on the team, behind Liford with 433 kills (3.58 kpg). Liford paces the squad with 17 double-doubles and leads the way with 464 kills. Setter Laura Côté runs the offense with 12.55 assists per game--third in C-USA this year. Junior outside hitter Sarah Bury has complemented well Burton and Liford with 384 kills.
In its 13 years in Conference USA, Memphis had earned a No. 5 seed just once--in 2004. The Tigers went 2-1 in the 2004 tournament, with a first-round sweep of No. 12 DePaul and a four-game win over fourth-seeded TCU. Top-seed and host school, Louisville bounced the Tigers from competition via a sweep, in the semifinal round. The No. 5 seed proved to be the winning number last year as UAB took a fifth-seed into the tournament and ran through the field to a C-USA Championship.
Memphis has been fairly successful in opening round action, posting a 7-5 mark. The Tigers have been victorious three of the last four first round contests. Memphis' last first-round loss came in 2005 at the hands of UCF (3-1).
UCF comes into the tournament as a dangerous team, losing 16 straight matches against C-USA opponents. The Knights have dropped the last 10 matches. Erin Campbell and Stephanie Serna lead the UCF offense with 337 and 312 kills, respectively, while Jenny Heppert leads the defense with 117 total blocks. Campbell also paces the squad in digs. The Knights hit .151 as a team and give up a .231 percentage to opponents.
Memphis holds an 8-5 advantage over UCF in the all-time series between the two schools. The Tigers have won four straight over the Knights, including sweeping the last two season series. UCF last defeated Memphis 3-1 in the first round of the 2005 C-USA Championships. The Tigers swept the 2007 regular season series from UCF.
The Tigers are 0-1 vs. UCF in C-USA Championship play, losing to the Knights, 3-1, in the first round of the 2005 tournament.
A first-round win for the Tigers would set up a meeting with No. 4 Tulsa at 7 p.m. EST on Friday.