Trojans’ home weekend

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 2, 2008

After falling in their first two conference matches in the state of Florida last weekend, the Troy University Trojans will look to get to .500 this weekend by hosting a pair of teams from the state of Arkansas at Trojan Arena.

Troy (9-8, 0-2 Sun Belt) begins the journey back into the race for the conference race against UALR (14-2, 3-0 Sun Belt) tonight. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Trojan Arena, and will be just the third home match of the season for Troy after playing 15-of-17 to start the season on the road.

“We knew before the season started that we would be on the road for a while,” Trojans coach Sonny Kirkpatrick said. “We are looking forward to a little home-cooking with the fans, and being able to sleep in our own beds before we get ready to play two very good teams.”

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Meghan Gilroy leads the Trojans on the court. She was a Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week earlier this season. She is currently 27th in the country in kills per set, averaging 4.10, while also leading the Trojans in total kills with 205 in 17 matches this season. The junior is slowly making her way up the career charts at Troy where she stands second all-time in attack percentage, third in kills per game and eighth in total kills.

Senior Meghan Washlow continues to lead the conference in service aces with 25, and is currently 17th in the nation in service aces per set averaging 0.54 per set. Much like Gilroy, Washlow is ascending the career charts at Troy where she stands fourth all-time in assists, fifth in service aces and eighth in total digs.

Sophomore Megan Henderson leads the Trojans in assists this season, and is 52nd in the NCAA averaging 10.44 assists per set. She is also fifth in school history in assists in her sophomore season.

Senior Aubre Smith ranks 137th in the nation in blocks per set, but is second and third all-time in total blocks at Troy. She is also second in solo blocks, seventh in total kills and eighth in kills per set all-time at the school.

Meanwhile, as a team, Troy is in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season at three. The Trojans are 1-1 this season at home, losing to Auburn and defeating Jacksonville State at Trojan Arena where they are averaging almost 1,100 fans per match. Despute the losing streak, the Trojans are off to their best 17-match record since the 2005 season, matching that 9-8 start of that year’s team.

“It is always a challenge in conference,” Kirkpatrick said. “We just have to do a better job preparing mentally. This weekend will be two good matches, but we have to worry about we are doing in order to give ourselves a chance to win.”

Arkansas-Little Rock comes into the match leading the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference and is ranked in the Top-30 in two different categories in the NCAA. The Trojans from Little Rock are 27th in assists per set at 12.73, and 28th in attack percentage at .263. UALR is riding a five-match winning streak.

The Trojans will also face Arkansas State (12-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) on Saturday afternoon at Trojan Arena.

Both matches will be available via webcast on, with air time beginning 10 minutes prior to each match.