Volleyball Hosting Hilton Garden Inn Greenbelt Invitational
Sept. 6, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For the second straight year, the University of Maryland will host the Hilton Garden Inn Greenbelt Invitational women's volleyball tournament at the Comcast Center Pavilion.
The event begins Friday and finishes Saturday with a total of six matches being played. The host Terrapins will be joined by the James Madison Dukes, New Hampshire Wildcats and Temple Owls in this year's field.
The proceedings begin Friday with a pair of games. New Hampshire and Temple start things off at 5 p.m., followed by Maryland against James Madison at 7 p.m. All four participants will play a pair of games the following day, beginning with Maryland-New Hampshire at 11 a.m. and Temple-James Madison at 1 p.m. After a two-hour break, James Madison plays New Hampshire at 5:30 p.m. while the Terps and Owls play in the finale at 7:30 p.m.
There is no charge for admission and doors open one hour before start time for each session.
Last year's event featured the largest crowd in the history of the Comcast Center Pavilion when 1,716 fans showed up to see the Terps face then-No. 3 UCLA.
Previewing the participants:
Maryland: The Terps (5-1) come into their first home matches of the season on a three-game winning streak after going undefeated at last weekend's VCU/Third Degree Sportswear Invitational in Richmond, Va. Maryland knocked off Liberty, South Carolina and VCU. All three victories came in five games, marking the first time Maryland has won back-to-back-to-back five-game matches since 1997.
Sophomore middle blocker Katie Usher had a breakout weekend for the Terps, notching 43 kills and nine blocks with a hitting percentage of .510, raising her season mark to .421. Usher's performance earned her tournament MVP honors, while senior Beth Gillming and junior Mary Beth Brown also made the all-tournament team.
This weekend's tournament is Maryland's last tune-up before Atlantic Coast Conference play begins next weekend at Boston College.
Temple: The young Owls (3-5) squad comes to College Park having lost five of their last six matches after starting the season with a couple wins.
Temple's roster features nine freshmen, but, despite the relative youth, the Owls are expected to win their division of the Atlantic 10 this season.
The Owls boast a strong Chinese attacking duo of Yun Yi Zhang and Yue Liu, which has combined for 219 of the team's 445 kills on the season.
James Madison: The James Madison Dukes (2-3) come to town off a victory over High Point last weekend and pose problems for the opposition on both sides of the net. Senior libero Jena Pierson is a tough defender who recently broke the Dukes' career digs record and now stands at 1,589 for her career. Senior middle blocker Allyson Halls leads the Dukes in kills, hitting percentage, service aces, blocks and points and also ranks in the top 10 of the Colonial Athletic Association in all five areas, as well.
New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Wildcats (5-2) boast an impressive record, but make the trip south on the heels of two losses in Boston against Boston College and Northeastern.
The Wildcats are led by senior outside hitter Emmy Blouin, who recently became only the fifth player in New Hampshire history to surpass the 1,000-career-kills mark in last weekend's victory over Holy Cross.