PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 21, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team welcomes Temple and Memphis to the College Ave Gym for the Scarlet Knights’ final home contests of the 2013 season. The Owls come to “The Barn” on Friday, Nov. 22, while the Tigers visit on Nov. 24.
RU’s match against Memphis marks Senior Day, as seniors Brittany Bozzini (Saratoga, Calif.) and Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) will both be honored prior to the beginning of the contest for their contributions to the Rutgers women’s volleyball program. The match will be will be broadcast live on RVision, presented by AT&T.
The Scarlet Knights most recently hosted UConn for its lone match of the week on Nov. 15 and fell in straight sets. Wright notched a season-high 21 digs in the loss, while second-year outside hitter Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) contributed 11 kills and five digs.
The Owls enter Friday’s game with a 17-9 record and are 8-6 in American Athletic Conference matchups.
Temple ranks third in the league in three statistical categories- opponent hitting percentage (.173), service aces per set (1.30) and digs per set (15.91).
Temple is led by senior right side Gabriella Matautia, who is third in the American in kills per set (3.47). Additionally, sophomore setter Sandra Sydlik is second in aces per set (0.34), while sophomore defensive specialist Alyssa Drachslin is fifth in digs per set (4.38) and junior middle blocker Jennifer Iacobini is fifth in hitting percentage (.301). Matautia’s 333 total kills are over 100 more than anyone else on the team, and she has now amassed 1,206 kills in her career.
RU has faced Temple 58 times in program history, with the Owls holding a 33-25 advantage.
On Oct. 20, RU was defeated by Temple in straight-sets (18-25, 16-25, 23-25). Freshman middle blocker Lauren Cloyd (Champaign, Ill.) led the Scarlet Knights with eight kills and added two blocks. The Owls were led by Gabriella Matautia and Tyler Davis, who each managed 10 kills.
Memphis will face the UConn Huskies on Friday, Nov. 22 before taking the trip to Piscataway, N.J. to face RU on Sunday, Nov. 24. Currently, the Tigers are 13-15 overall and 5-9 in conference play. The Tigers are led by junior middle blocker/right side Lauren Hawkins who has put down 262 kills on the year to average 2.91/set.
Redshirt sophomore setter Veronica Zimmerman has already surpassed the 1,000-assist plateau, having dished out 1089 helpers. Currently, Zimmerman ranks third in the AAC in assists/set with an average of 10.38.
Rutgers has faced the Tigers just one other time in program history, occurring earlier this season on the road.
On Oct. 18, the Tigers topped RU in four sets by scores of 25-27. 18-25, 25-23, 19-25. Lassa led all Rutgers’ hitters with 20 kills and added 13 digs, while second-year outside Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) and junior right ride Sofi Cucuz (Crown Point, Ind.) each recorded 10 putdowns. Memphis was led by Lauren Hawkins’ 14 kills.
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