NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Volleyball embarks on its toughest road trip this season with a stop at the Kansas Invitational this weekend. The Bruins (5-3) will square off against three nationally ranked opponents in No. 9 Creighton (5-1), No. 17 Purdue (6-0) and host-Kansas (7-0), who is ranked No. 7.
Three-time defending BIG EAST regular season and tournament champion Creighton has its sights set on moving up higher in the national rankings after starting the season 5-1. The No. 9 ranked team is led in kills by Jaali Winters, who has tallied 65 while Marysa Wilkinson leads with a .393 attack percentage. Lydia Demke leads the Bluejays in assists with a total of 202.
This is the first meeting between the programs.
Purdue brings an unblemished 6-0 mark into this weekend's tournament and is ranked 17th nationally. Danielle Cuttino leads the Boilermakers, hitting at a .392 clip with 82 kills, while Sherridan Atkinson is a close second at .358 with 66 kills. Ashley Evans directs a Boilermaker offense with a total of 232 assists.
The programs last met in 2010 with the Boilermakers taking the match, 3-0, in West Lafayette, Ind.
Kansas enters its home tournament with a 7-0 record and a No. 7 standing nationally. The Jayhawks are led by senior All-Americans Kelsie Payne, who has recorded 121 kills at a .373 clip and Ainise Havili who has tallied 324 assists and hits at a .348 clip. Allie Nelson leads the team in digs with a total of 113.
The programs last met in 2011 at another tournament in Lawrence. Belmont fell 3-1 in the duel.
All of Belmont's matches will have live stats available. The match against host-Kansas on Friday afternoon at Noon can be seen live on ESPN3. Fans may also follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.