Volleyball Returns Home To Face Divisional Rivals During The Final Weekend Of The C-USA Regular Season
Nov. 8, 2012
TULSA, Okla. -
Friday's clash against Rice marks a battle of the league's two best teams, as Tulsa (19-9, 12-2 C-USA) has a one game lead on the Owls (18-10, 11-3 C-USA). If TU wins, it will clinch the Conference USA regular season title for the third consecutive season and would earn the No. 1 seed in next week's Conference USA Volleyball Championship at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Sunday's tilt against Houston (8-16, 7-7 C-USA) is Senior Day for the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa's senior class has won 104 games and consists of two-time second-team All-American and two-time Conference USA Player of the Year Tyler Henderson, 2011 C-USA Libero of the Year Jessica Adams, 2010 C-USA Setter of the Year Jordan Clampitt, Diana Silva, who received 2011 AVCA Honorable Mention All-America accolades, and Shelbi Pitcher, a defensive specialist who has appeared in more than 250 sets during her career and brings tremendous energy and a positive attitude to the team. The senior class has won two C-USA titles, advanced to the t NCAA Tournament Second-Round twice and have a 63-7 record in conference matches.
"It is by far the most decorated class," McRoberts said. "There are four All-Americans and multiple All-Region players. Their biggest accomplishment is winning two Conference USA Championships and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row. With the schedule they have played the past few years, it is impressive for them to have a chance to be the winningest class in school history. I know they want to finish strong. They want to finish with the third conference championship, and we are going to work hard this week to make it happen. It is a special group. It is a competitive group. It is going to be a really tough group to even replace, especially if they get that third championship. Its hard for classes to win three out of four conference championships."
The Golden Hurricane ranks 21st in the nation in kills per set (14.35), 22nd in assists (13.31) and 21st in digs per set (17.76).
As a squad, Tulsa is hitting .207, which is the fourth best attack percentage in C-USA, while opponents hold an attack clip of .172, the best mark in the league. The Hurricane allows the fewest service aces in the league as foes only average 0.54 services aces per set.
Henderson leads the nation in kills per set, averaging 5.13 per frame, and is second in the country with points per set with 5.63 per set.
Adams paces the conference averaging 5.12 digs per frame, which ranks 48th nationally.
Junior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson is ranked 23rd in the nation in aces per set with a 0.42 average, while she ranks second in the team in kills per stanza with 2.61 and third in digs per frame with a 3.31 clip.
Rice enters Friday's match on a two game winning streak after sweeping Southern Miss and UCF last weekend. The Owls rank second in the league in hitting percentage (.231), kills per set (14.12) and assists per set (13.29), while ranking third in blocks per frame (2.27). Rice's attack is paced by Nancy Cole, who leads the squad in kills per set with 3.59 and attack percentage with a .329 clip. Megan Murphy holds the keys to the offense with a league best 11.16 assists per set, while Jillian Murphy is third in the conference in blocks per set with 1.18 per frame.
Houston enters this weekend sitting in sixth place in the Conference USA standings, a game up on Marshall, Memphis and SMU who all have 6-8 conference marks. The Cougars are hitting .183 on the season and rank fifth in the league in blocks per set with 2.11. Katie Norris leads the Houston attack with 3.89 kills per set, while Chandace Tyron is second with 2.68 kills per frame. Tyron is sixth in the league in attack percentage with a .319 clip and fifth in blocks per set with 1.09.
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