Memphis, St. Louis on horizon

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Friday, Jesuit Night at the Marquette Gym, the Golden Eagles welcome the Memphis Tigers, who sport a 22-2 overall record including 4-1 in C-USA action, with their one conference loss coming to Texas Christian. In their latest match, the Tigers defeated Ole Miss in a three-set match Tuesday with final scores of 30-24, 30-25, and 30-25.

In addition, the Tigers have played 17 of their first 20 matches on the road this season, and with an overall record of 22-2 they appear very comfortable packing up their bags and going on tour.

Though the Tigers have had to be on the road for 17 of their first 20 games, coach Pati Rolf is not worried about Memphis’ road success.

“After looking at who they’ve played on the road this year, we are not too worried about the game on Friday,” she said.

Saturday, the St. Louis Billikens come into town to take on the Golden Eagles for Alumni Night and ROTC Night. The Billikens stand at 7-15 overall and at 0-5 they are still looking for their first conference win. In their most recent conference action, the Billikens fell to Alabama-Birmingham in a three-set match with final tallies of 30-28, 30-28, and 30-18.

Ball control will play a major factor in this weekend’s play, Rolf said.

“Basic ball control and serving and passing will come up big this weekend,” she said. “We are not going into this weekend with a lot of outward opinion.”

Following the two losses this weekend, Rolf expects her team to come back strong in the two conference matches.

“This team has worked hard,” she said. “Mentally, they rebound off of poor play. We are not trying to look ahead but look at the immediate games coming up.”

As of now, the Golden Eagles are in the middle of the C-USA sandwich, with Tulane, Southern Miss and Cincinnati all undefeated in conference play. At the bottom of the pile sits St. Louis, East Carolina and Charlotte, teams still looking for conference victory number one.

Rolf feels this weekend will be critical to how the rest of the season will pan out.

“We need to win this weekend in order to put ourselves in the next level of the conference,” she said.

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