templates/ArticleTopCenter.tmpl ULM Hosts Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky this Weekend - ULM Warhawks Athletics
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Courtesy: Jeremy Stevens / ulmwarhawks.com
ULM Hosts Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky this Weekend
Courtesy: ulmwarhawks.com
Release: October 04, 2012
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MONROE, La. - The ULM Warhawks play back-to-back matches at the ULM Activity Center for the first time all season this weekend. They host Middle Tennessee Friday night and No. 20 Western Kentucky on Sunday afternoon.

The Wahawks (4-9, 0-4 Sun Belt) are seeking not only their first victory in a Sun Belt match but also hope to snap a four match skid during which the Warhawks are 0-12 in sets played.

Senior outside hitter Samantha Morse leads ULM with a 3.00 kills per set averaged. She is the only player to have cracked the 100 kills plateau so far this season (135). Fellow senior outside hitter Zuzana Markova has dished out 112 assists. Marcela Araya still leads the conference, averaging just under five digs per set. As a team, the Warhawks average 2.29 blocks/set, the second-best mark in the conference.

ULM host Middle Tennessee Friday night at 7 p.m. to open the weekend homestand. MTSU is coming off a 3-0 loss at the hands of Western Kentucky. The Blue Raiders (4-15, 1-3 Sun Belt) played some very tough competition in the non-conference portion of their season, including matches against Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech, and Louisville. The lone Sun Belt win for Middle Tennessee came Sept. 29 at UL-Lafayette. The Blue Raiders won 3-1 in a four-set thriller, besting the Ragin' Cajuns 36-34 in the final set.

The Blue Raiders are led by freshman outside hitter Chelsea Ross, who paces the squad in kills per set average (3.79). As a team, MTSU is averaging 2.24 blocks per set.

Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series 6-0, dating back to 2006, and holds a 18-0 advantage in sets played. The Blue Raiders defeated the Warhawks 3-0 in their last meeting on October 24, 2011 in Monroe.

Western Kentucky (18-3, 4-0 Sun Belt) enters Monroe ranked 20th in the nation for a Sunday afternoon tilt at 1 p.m. The Lady Toppers are also on a 10-match win streak entering the weekend. Western Kentucky has only fallen to Louisville, No. 3 Penn State, and Ohio State. The Lady Toppers enter the weekend having won all four conference matches in 3-0 decisions, and will hope to extend that streak after Friday night's match at North Texas.

Western Kentucky ranks first in the conference in team hitting percentage (.288) and assists per set (13.22). Redshirt-junior outside hitter Paige Wessel (.395 hitting pct.) and junior setter Melanie Stutsman (.356 hitting pct.) are first and second in the Sun Belt, respectively, in hitting percentage. Stutsman also leads in assists per set average (11.14). The Lady Toppers are led defensively by junior defensive specialist Ashley Potts, who has earned the honors in two consecutive weeks (Sept. 17 and Sept. 24).

The Lady Toppers lead the all-time series 9-3, dating back to 1988. Western Kentucky swept the Warhawks 3-0 in their last meeting on October 22, 2011, in Monroe. The last ULM victory over the Lady Toppers came in 1989.

Friday's match against Middle Tennessee begins at 7 p.m. Sunday's first serve versus Western Kentucky is at 1 p.m.