Nov. 23, 2010
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The University of Memphis volleyball team (16-14, 7-11 C-USA) will wrap up the 2010 season this week with a pair of league tilts versus UAB. The Tigers and Blazers will meet up on Wed., Nov. 24, for a Thanksgiving Day Eve showdown in Birmingham, Ala., at 7 p.m. The two clubs will meet in Memphis for the season finale on Sat., Nov. 27. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Memphis split the Conference USA weekend with a 3-1 loss to UCF on Friday night and a 3-0 win over UTEP on Senior Day, Sunday afternoon. The Tigers are now 16-14 overall and 7-11 in C-USA play.
Sophomore outside hitter Altrese Hawkins was named a First Team All-Conference USA performer, the league announced Tuesday. Hawkins is the first Memphis volleyball player to earn the league's First Team honors since Shelby Burton in 2007.
Hawkins ranks 41st in the nation with a team-high 3.96 kills per set.
Christine Bach and Altrese Hawkins were honored for their performances in the classroom as well as on the court, as the duo was named to the 2010 Conference USA All-Academic Volleyball Team, as selected by the league's Sports Information Directors. Bach has earned C-USA All-Academic honors in all four years of her career, while the honor was the first for Hawkins.
Sunday's sweep of UTEP earned the Memphis its ninth finish of .500 or better in the last 10 seasons. With two matches remaining, the Tigers can finish no worse than 16-16. With a win this week Memphis would clinch its eighth winning season in 10 years.
With 16 wins on the year, Memphis is just two shy of the program's 800th victory.
Christine Bach continues to chase Memphis' all-time digs mark, set by Christen Clayton in 2006. Bach, who currently ranks second on the list, inched closer with 27 digs in the two weekend contests. Bach now has 1,743 career digs. Bach also ranks in the top-10 on Conference USA's all-time digs ledger. Bach has picked up 445 digs in 2010--good for seventh on Memphis' single-season top-10 digs list.
Altrese Hawkins leads the Tigers with 455 kills and has 790 kills for her career. Only Nancy Nellans, who lettered from 2002-05, has landed more kills in her first two seasons with 849.
Winners of three-straight, UAB comes into the week with an 11-19 record and an 8-10 mark in C-USA play. The Blazer posted a pair of four-set victories over UTEP and UCF in last week's action.
The UAB offense is paced by All-C-USA Second Teamer Sam Serley. The sophomore, who also garnered C-USA All-Academic honors, leads the team and ranks in the top-10 in Conference USA with a .324 average, 117 total blocks, 1.05 blocks per set and 419.5 points. She is tops on the Blazers roster with 323 kills. Michelle Uzoh is second on the club with a stout .307 hitting percentage on 206 kills. All-Freshman performer Ally Slaughter has put together a solid rookie season, downing 190 kills.
Defensively, libero Heather Thomas leads the squad and rates second in the league with 573 digs and an average of 5.16 digs per set. UAB averages 2.11 blocks per set.
All-Time Series vs. UAB
The series between UAB and Memphis has become increasingly competitive over the last four seasons. The Tigers hold a healthy 37-15 record against the Blazers. UAB has won three-straight against Memphis dating back to the 2008 season. 2009 snapped a string of four consecutive season series splits. UAB has won seven of the 10 matches since 2005.