Conference tournament and potential regional seeding is on the line during the final weekend of the regular season, as the 23rd-ranked Truman volleyball squad visits The Lou for a pair of matches at Maryville and Missouri-St. Louis this Friday and Saturday.
The Bulldogs (20-9, 13-3 GLVC) have won six straight sets to hold steady at No. 2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference West division, one match behind division-leading Rockhurst at 14-2. Currently in the middle of re-match week,
Truman dropped Quincy for the second time this season on Tuesday night with a 3-0 home sweep and will be looking to match earlier home sweeps against both MU and UMSL.
Truman is 3-1 in its last four contests, having lost a five-setter at Indianapolis on Nov. 9 before rebounding with a 3-0 sweep at Saint Joseph's (Ind.) on Nov. 10.
The Bulldogs and UIndy Greyhounds see-sawed in their five-set battle, as UIndy took sets 1, 3 and 5 while Truman came out on top in sets two and four.
Meanwhile, since that match, the Bulldogs have rattled off a perfect 6-for-6 mark in set play against SJC and QU.
On the season, the Bulldogs are hitting .221 as a team while holding opponents to just a .178 mark.
Truman is averaging 13.1 kills per set, 15.9 digs per set and 2.2 blocks per set, while also having dealt 155 aces (1.42/set). Opponents are averaging 12.3 kills, 16.1 digs, and 1.8 blocks per set while acing the Bulldogs 113 times (1.04/set).
Individually, junior OH Allie Brak leads the team in kills (397/3.68 per set) and points per set (4.11), while sophomores Abby Heise (2.54 kills/set), Ali Patterson (2.35 kills/set) and Emilee Walters (1.98 kills/set) are all hitting better than .265. Junior Meghan Zimmerman is the team's setter and is averaging 10.60 assists per set to go alongside 2.56 digs per set, while fellow junior Abby Moser is gone on a recent tear to raise her team-leading digs per set average to 4.13.
Both Patterson and Walters are at or above 1.00 blocks per set, with Heise checking in at 0.78.
Ben Briney is in his fifth season as the program's head coach and has a career record of 116-51 (.695).
Following the Bulldogs:
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Opponent Quick Glance:
The Saints currently sit eighth in the GLVC West division with an 8-23 overall (1-15 GLVC) record. MU is in the midst of a five-match losing skid and is 3-9 in home matches in 2013.
Maryville is hitting .139 on the season while allowing its opponents to connect at a .201 mark. Mikaela Lahm (2.26 k/s) and Laura Welling (2.12 k/s) are the team's top offensive threats, while Ali Lampen has patrolled the back line to a tune of 5.57 digs/set.
Earlier this season, the Bulldogs hit .337 and got a dozen kills from Allie Brak in a 3-0 (-19, -7, -21) sweep in Pershing Arena. Lahm led the Saints with eight kills, while Julia Graves added seven.
Christine Phillips is in her third season at the helm of the MU program.
The Tritons â?? who host Quincy on Friday night prior to Truman's visit on Saturday â?? are currently third in the GLVC West division with a 16-13 overall (9-7 GLVC) record. UMSL picked up a 3-0 win at Maryville on Tuesday night and is 6-3 at home this season.
Mo.-St. Louis is hitting .188 as a team this season while allowing its opponents to hit just a sliver higher at .189.
Chelsea Burkle is the team's top offensive threat at 3.57 kills per set, while Hannah Miller is hitting .288 with 1.67 kills per set. Emily Bragaw is the team's libero and is the squad leader at 4.35 digs per set.
Earlier this season, Truman hit just .143 but held UMSL to an .024 attack line in a tight three-set (-23, 26-24, -20) Bulldog win in Pershing Arena.
Ali Patterson hit .471 with nine kills, while Meghan Zimmerman came close to a triple-double with six kills, 28 assists and a dozen digs.
Ryan Young is in his third season at the helm of the UMSL program and has a record of 47-40 at the school.
GLVC Tournament Outlook:
The Bulldogs currently sit second in the GLVC West division â?? one match behind division-leading Rockhurst at 14-2.
The top three teams from each division plus two "wild card" teams will qualify for the conference tournament â?? to be held at the top seed on Nov. 22-24.
Both Truman and the Hawks â?? along with Southern Indiana (14-2), Lewis (14-2), and Indianapolis (13-3) out of the East division â?? have punched tickets to the conference tournament. UMSL needs just one win this weekend to clinch the No. 3 seed out of the West, while UW-Parkside, Bellarmine, McKendree, Missouri S&T, and Drury are all still alive for the Nos. 7 and 8 "wild card" bids.
The winner of the eight-team, three-day tournament will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Midwest regional, to be held Dec. 5-7 at the top seed.
Courtesy Truman State University