OXFORD, Ohio - Fresh off a season-opening tournament championship at the Belmont Invitational, the Miami University volleyball team looks to remain undefeated as it hosts its annual Miami Invitational. The RedHawks will take on Evansville Friday at 7 p.m. and Northern Kentucky Saturday at 7 p.m. in Millett Hall. Live video is available for both matches on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription. Miami then travels to Xavier next Tuesday for a 7 p.m. non-conference match.
NOTE TO SEASON TICKET HOLDERS: Your tickets will be available at will call at the east entrance of Millett Hall before the first game on Friday.
MIAMI INVITATIONAL SUCCESS: The RedHawks are the two-time defending champion of their home tournament. In 2011, they earned victories over Florida Gulf Coast and Radford, before defeating Alabama A&M, 3-0, to win the title. Last season, Miami defeated Indiana State, 3-2, in a hard-fought opener, before taking down Chicago State, 3-0, and Temple, 3-1, to repeat as champions. The RedHawks have won their home tournament eight times in team history.
BLOCKING SPECIALISTS: Miami recorded 32 blocks in its three matches on the way to winning the Belmont Invitational last weekend, averaging 3.20 blocks per set. Against Memphis, freshman Paige Hill had 12 block assists, which was only two off the team record of 14, set by Lori Reinart against Ohio on Nov. 2, 1996. The RedHawks had 30 block assists in the match against Memphis, only nine off the school record of 39 set in the same match against Ohio in 1996.
ABOUT EVANSVILLE: The Purple Aces are 2-2 on the season. They went 2-1 at the North Carolina Central Tournament last weekend, defeating the host Eagles and Murray State, but falling to Hampton. On Tuesday, they dropped a 2-3, non-conference match to UT-Martin. Evansville has been led by junior outside hitter Ashley Ring. She has 54 kills, an average of 3.38 kills per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE PURPLE ACES: Miami holds a 3-1 lead in the all-time series with Evansville. The teams last met in 1998 at the Miami Invitational, with the RedHawks coming away with a 3-1 victory. Alissia Thompson led Miami with 14 kills in the win.
ABOUT NORTHERN KENTUCKY: The Norse are 1-3 on the season. They dropped all three matches at the Xavier Invitational last weekend, falling to the host Musketeers, Clemson and seventh-ranked Michigan. NKU got in the win column with a 3-1 victory over Wright State on Tuesday. Its top player has been junior middle hitter Jenna Ruble. She has 38 kills, an average of 2.53 per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE NORSE: Northern Kentucky holds a 6-5 lead in the all-time series with Miami. The teams have not met since 1981, after which the NCAA took over women’s sports and the schools were split into different divisions. The Norse earned a 2-1 victory on Sept. 26, 1981 in their last meeting with Miami.
ABOUT XAVIER: The Musketeers are 2-1 on the season. At their home tournament they fell to seventh-ranked Michigan in the opener, but rebounded to defeat Northern Kentucky and Clemson. Prior to facing Miami, Xavier will take on Duquesne, Robert Morris and Central Michigan in a tournament in Pittsburgh this weekend. The Musketeer are led by senior middle hitter Alex Smith. She has 31 kills, an average of 3.10 per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE MUSKETEERS: Miami holds a 17-2 lead in the all-time series with Xavier. The Musketeers earned a dramatic, 3-2, victory over the RedHawks last season on Sept. 4 in Millett Hall. Madison Dodd led Miami with 15 kills in that match, while Madison Hardy had a career-high 32 digs.