NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Volleyball will conclude its homestand in the Curb Event Center this weekend as the race for the top of the OVC intensifies. The Bruins (9-9, 4-2 OVC) host in-state rival UT Martin (9-10, 3-3 OVC) on Friday and Southeast Missouri State (6-14, 1-5 OVC) on Saturday afternoon for a pair of OVC tilts.
UTM comes to Nashville in the midst of a three-match skid to now stand at 3-3 in the conference and 9-10 overall. The Skyhawks are led in kills by Jemima Idemudia, who has a total of 208, and is hitting at a .302 clip. Kenzie Hinsaw leads in assists with a total of 441. Brooke Gyori heads up the defensive effort with a total of 293 digs.
UT Martin holds a slim lead in the all-time series, 11-9, but Belmont has won the last four meetings between the programs.
The Redhawks have only won one of their last 13 outings after playing a tough non-conference slate. SEMO comes to Nashville with a 6-14 overall mark and a 1-5 record in the OVC. Krissa Gearring leads the team in kills with a total of 207, but Nzingha Clarke is the most accurate attacker, hitting at a .387 clip with 163 kills. Gearring and Ally Dion lead the team in digs, with 183 and 180 total, respectively. Keegan Fornoff leads in assists with a total of 394.
Belmont has the lead in the all-time series, leading 5-3, winning three of the last four contests.
BU stands at 9-9 overall after falling in a five-set Battle of the Boulevard heartbreaker earlier this week and 4-2 in the conference.
Senior Arianna Person (Lenexa, Kan.) leads the team in kills with a total of 230. Freshman Akia Warrior (Fort Worth, Texas) leads the team in assists (328) while senior Ellie Ivancich (Naperville, Ill.) heads up the defensive effort, logging 194 digs. Ivancich is followed by Person and senior Emily Richards (Penfield, N.Y.), who have contributed 168 and 147 digs, respectively. Junior Alexa Nichols (Walton, Ky.) has tallied five solo blocks and is second in block assists with a total of 46 while freshman Mackenzie LePage (Franklin, Tenn.) has posted a team-leading 49 block assists. Ivancich and classmate Brie Lewis (Stillwell, Kan.) leads the team in service aces with 19 apiece.
Friday night's match is set for 6 p.m. and has been designated a THINK PINK match, encouraging all fans to wear pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. Saturday's contest is set for a 2 p.m. start. Live stats will be available and both matches can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network. Fans may also follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.