Oct. 17, 2013
RUSTON, La. - For the first time since 1982, Memorial Gym is opening its doors for official use as Louisiana Tech's volleyball team will host a pair of Conference USA matches versus Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss in the 63-year-old gymnasium Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
This weekend will mark the first time LA Tech (7-13, 1-4 C-USA) has ever played competitive volleyball matches in the historic gym as the Thomas Assembly Center, which is temporarily closed due to ongoing construction for the installation of the Paul Millsap Vision video board, has served as the Lady Techsters' home since the program began in 1987.
While Memorial Gym has been most recently used as a practice court for both men's and women's basketball teams as well as volleyball, Friday night's match versus the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee will mark the first collegiate game the gym has hosted since March 20, 1982 when the Lady Techster basketball team defeated Kentucky 82-60 in the third round of the 1982 NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Adriano de Souza and the Lady Techsters are coming off a five-set marathon match last weekend in a road lost to league foe East Carolina and will look to add to the team's lone win in conference this coming weekend.
Middle Tennessee comes into Friday's match with an 11-7 record and a 3-2 mark in league play, while Southern Miss is slightly behind the Blue Raiders in the C-USA standings with an 11-9 record and 2-3 record in conference play.
Junior outside hitters Rebecca Redgen and Xzache Mathis lead the Lady Techsters with 242 kills each in 20 matches in their first season with the team after transferring to LA Tech. Redgen has totaled double-digits in kills in 15 of the 20 matches she has played this season, while Mathis has a team-leading 3.41 kills per set.
Averaging 8.65 assists per set and ranked 11th in C-USA, junior setter Maria Coelho has assisted on all but 102 kills in 20 matches this season with a team-leading 692 assists in 2013.
Coelho currently leads all Lady Techsters with 35 aces and is ranked 26th in the nation in aces per set with a 0.44 average. As a team, LA Tech is ranked 13th nationally and first in Conference USA with 1.76 aces per set.
Live stats will be available for both matches this weekend via GameTracker by accessing the link on the volleyball schedule page on LATechSports.com. A live video and audio stream will also be available for fans on LA Tech All-Access for subscribers.
For complete coverage of LA Tech Volleyball, please follow @LATechVB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.