NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Volleyball opens the home portion of its 2017 slate this weekend in the Curb Event Center with its annual Bruiser Showcase. The Bruins (3-1) welcome Idaho State (1-2), UT Arlington (3-0), and in-state rival Middle Tennessee State (0-4) to the two-day tournament.
Idaho State will look to post a few wins at the Bruiser Showcase after emerging with a 1-2 mark after a weekend at the UW Milwaukee Tournament. The Bengals are led in kills by Chloe Hirst and Abby Garrity, who have tallied 50 and 45, respectively. Ashlyn Van Every leads the team in assists with a total of 84.
This is the first meeting between the programs.
In-state rival MTSU looks to break into the win column with this weekend's tournament after stumbling at the Culvers Governors Challenge, hosted by UMKC. The Blue Raiders also took on No. 25 Arizona as part of the LUV Invitational, hosted by Lipscomb. Regan Coughlin leads the team in kills with a total of 30 while Taylor Hammill leads in assists with a total of 84.
The Blue Raiders lead the all-time series, 7-1.
UT Arlington brings its early unblemished record to Nashville for a matchup with the Bruins. The Mavericks went defeated on their home court during the UTA Invitational. The team is led in kills by Zhanelle Geathers, who has recorded 40 while Haley Higgins leads in assists with a total of 71. Qiana Canete and Madelyn St. Germain lead the UTA in digs, with 41 and 40 total, respectively.
Belmont won the lone previous meeting between the programs back in 2007.
Belmont heads into its own tournament after being handed its first loss of the season by nationally ranked Wichita State at the LUV Invitational, hosted by Lipscomb. The loss snapped that three-match win streak that handed the Bruins the 2017 Charlotte Invitational title. Senior Arianna Person (Lenexa, Kan.) was named the tournament's MVP while classmate Brie Lewis (Stillwell, Kan.) was named to the All-Tournament Team. For her efforts against the Shockers, junior Alexa Nichols (Walton, Ky.) was named to the LUV Invitational All-Tournament team.
The Bruins stand at 3-1 on the young season and have received votes in the latest Volleyball Magazine Mid-Major poll.
Friday's matches fall on national College Colors Day and all Bruin fans are encouraged to don red or blue in the Curb Event Center. BU's morning match against UT Arlington is set for 11:30 am and the Bruins face off against Idaho State at 6 p.m. that evening. BU returns to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. taking on MTSU. All matches during the Bruiser Showcase will have live stats available. All Belmont matches will be live streamed on the OVC Digital Network. Fans can also follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for in-game updates.