Volleyball Opens Conference USA Home Slate Friday and Sunday
Sept. 25, 2008
TULSA, Okla. - After a 13-2 start to open the season, The University of Tulsa volleyball team resumes Conference USA play with its first home league matches Friday at 7 p.m. against Southern Miss and at noon Sunday versus UCF at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The Golden Hurricane defeated SMU 3-1 Sept. 16 in Dallas in its only C-USA match of the season thus far. Last weekend, TU beat DePaul 3-1 and Portland 3-1 before falling to Iowa 3-0 to finish second at the Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge. Tulsa won its first three tournaments to open the season, and the Conference USA slate will bring about a new challenge to head coach Ed Allen and his squad.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to play at home for a full weekend against a conference schedule," Allen said. "I'm anxious to see how our kids decide to approach this weekend, in terms of trying to compete again for our third championship in a row. I know that we have a long way to go in terms of the team playing to its potential. It's nice to be 13-2 and feeling that you can play a lot better than what you're playing. So, we hope that is the direction we're going to move."
Southern Miss comes into the weekend 10-4 and 0-1 in C-USA action, and on a two-game winning streak. UCF, meanwhile is 9-5 and 1-0 in conference, and on a five-game winning streak. UCF's conference win came against Southern Miss. TU is 2-1 all-time vs. Southern Miss, including wins in each of the last two seasons, while the Hurricane is 3-0 all-time against UCF, beating the Knights in each of the last three seasons.
The Golden Hurricane enters the weekend leading C-USA with a .250 team attack percentage, and is led by sophomore middle hitter Hannah Stout, who has hit at a .341 clip. Junior outside hitter Jennifer Eichler leads the team in kills with 192 and 3.25 kills per set. Freshman setter Rachel Vukson leads the squad with 344 assists, while sophomore Jessie Ayers averages 10.40 assists per set. Vukson also has 12 service aces to pace the squad.
Defensively, senior libero Kelsey Wood has 180 digs (3.05 per set), while senior defensive player Malorey Grove has 179 (3.03 per set). The Hurricane has recorded 121.5 total blocks (2.05 per set) and is led by junior middle hitter Julia Kenealy with 64 total blocks, including eight solo rejections. TU has allowed opponents a .167 attack percentage.
Southern Miss comes to town hitting .189, and allowing opponents a .114 attack percentage. The Golden Eagles average 11.76 kills per set, 1.48 service aces, 13.00 digs and 2.49 blocks per set. UCF sports a .206 attack percentage, and allows opponents to hit .189 against them. The Knights average 12.90 kills per set, 1.50 services aces, 14.31 digs and 1.84 blocks per set.
Admission to all Tulsa volleyball matches during the 2008 season is now free. Live stats for both matches will be available via Gametracker and can be found by visiting www.TulsaHurricane.com.
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