NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Volleyball prepares to host is annual Bruiser Showcase this weekend as it celebrates the 25th anniversary of the start of the program. The Bruins will welcome former conference rival ETSU, and first-time opponents UMBC and Tulsa into the Curb Event Center for the two-day tournament.
BU opens the two-day tournament facing off against first-time opponent UMBC on Friday morning. The Retrievers come to Nashville sporting a 1-2 record in the early season. UMBC is led in kills by Paige Krenik, who has a total of 25. Kristin Wilson leads in digs with a total of 34, followed by Carman Freeman who has added 30.
The first day closes with a duel against first-time opponent Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes stand at 2-1 in the young season after having a win streak halted on the road at Purdue. UT is led in kills by Rachel Moore, who has tallied 31. Mariah Pardo and Lindsey Ledyard lead the team in assists with 44 and 41, respectively. Taylor Horsfall leads in digs with a total of 56.
It has been seven years since Belmont took on East Tennessee State when both were members of the Atlantic Sun. The Bucs have a record of 2-1 coming to Nashville. ETSU is led in kills by Leah Clayton, who has a total of 51. Alyssa Kvarta does the majority of the set work, tallying 102 assists while Marija Popovic leads the team in digs with a total of 46.
Belmont leads the all-time series, 9-3, and has won the last three matchups.
Belmont comes into its annual Bruiser Showcase looking for its first win of the early season after a round of competition to open the campaign. Most recently, BU had its strongest match to date, battling WKU as it defended the nation's longest home winning streak on Tuesday night. Senior Maggie Mullins (Nashville, Tenn.) leads BU in kills with a total of 43 while freshman Carly Mason (Forsyth, Ill.) stands ninth in the OVC with her 106 assists. Mason also leads the team in digs with a total of 35, followed by sophomore Halee Van Poppel (Argyle, Texas) with 27.
All matches during the Bruiser Showcase will have live stats available. All contests versus the Bruins on Saturday will be live streamed on the OVC Digital Network. Fans can also follow the Belmont's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.