TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa volleyball is set to host the Courtyard Marriott Classic on August 31 and September 1. The Spartans will play their first four home matches of the 2018 season over the two-day period.
Schedule: University of Tampa (4-0, 0-0 SSC)
vs. West Texas A&M (3-1, 0-0 LSC) | Friday, August 31 at 3 p.m.
vs. Catawba College (3-1, 0-0 SAC) | Friday, August 31 at 7 p.m.
vs. Drury University (3-1, 0-0 GLVC) | Saturday, September 1 at 12:45 p.m.
vs. Ferris State University (4-0, 0-0 GLIAC) | Saturday, September 1 at 7 p.m.
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla.
Last Time Out: The Spartans cruised past Grand Valley State in four sets to close out the Raven First Serve Invitational. After dropping set one, Tampa took the next three sets to remain perfect to start the 2018 campaign. Sophomore Katie McKiel led the way for the Spartans, earning a double-double in the match with 20 kills and 11 digs. Sorrel Houghton had an impressive night offensively, ending the game with 15 kills and a .256 kill percentage, while setter Sammy Mueller also tallied a double-double with 41 assists and 10 digs.
About the Spartans: The Spartans are led offensively by the sophomore duo of McKiel and Houghton. The pair of outside hitters have already notched over 50 kills in the opening four games of the season, and both girls are averaging almost four kills per set. The Spartans have an impressive kill percentage of .304. Mueller has been the primary setter for the Spartans, leading the team in assists with 153, while junior Nicole Dominguez has been suiting up as the team's starting libero, leading the team in digs with 51.
About the Lady Buffs: West Texas A&M opened its season with the 2018 Britkare Lady Buff Classic. The Lady Buffs picked up wins against Adams State, Emporia State and Lubbock Christian. The team's lone loss came against No. 10 Rockhurst. West Texas A&M has four players with 30 kills or more through four games with Lindsey Smith leading the way with 44 kills. Sophomore libero Chandler Vogel leads the team in digs with 74.
About the Indians: The Indians rattled off three wins to start the season before dropping their most recent match against Emmanuel College. Catawba has an impressive 23 service aces to their opponents' 13 aces. Jade Brooks has tallied a team-high 48 kills and is second on the team with 40 digs. Kimberly Hurtado has been productive on the offensive and defensive end. Hurtado has the second-most kills (32) and leads the team in blocks (10).
About the Panthers: Despite opening the season with a loss, Drury won three consecutive matches, including two against ranked opposition this past weekend. After taking down Missouri Southern State, the Panthers defeated last year's national runner-up Florida Southern in straight sets and Arkansas Tech 3-1 to round out their play in the Peggy Martin Classic. Drury is led by Bentley Mara (54 kills), Bree Schmidt (79 digs) and Kendra Sater (137 assists).
About the Bulldogs: Ferris State enters the weekend as the only other undefeated team, including Tampa. The Bulldogs posted a perfect record at the Ferris State Invitational, losing only two sets. Ferris State swept the reigning national champions Concordia St. Paul. Junior Allyson Cappel has earned 65 kills this season and has tallied 54 digs. Setter Maeve Grimes has 159 assists, and a senior Katie Placek has 70 digs.
Series History: Tampa leads the all-time series 7-5 over West Texas A&M. Tampa is undefeated against Catawba, winning all five matches against the Indians. Saturday's matchup against Drury will be the first meeting between the two programs, and the Spartans will look to even the series at five wins apiece against Ferris State.
Access the tournament website here.
Tickets: General Admission ticket prices for all Tampa regular season athletic events are $5 for adults and $3 for Seniors, Military and visiting students. Youth (ages 12 and under) are admitted free of charge.
Follow UT Athletics: @TampaSpartans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Vimeo.
Text Alerts: UT also offers a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.
Front Row: Download the official app of UT Athletics on the Apple or Android store. Look for Tampa Spartans Front Row app to receive notifications from your favorite Spartan teams. The app is completely free.