Tigers Fall to Austin Peay and Southern Illinois
Aug. 24, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis volleyball team opened their 2012 season with a two matches at their home tournament, the Memphis Invitational on Friday. The Tigers came back to force a fifth set against Austin Peay State University in their first match of the day, but ultimately fell in five sets. In the second match of the day, the Tigers fell 3-0 to a high powered Southern Illinois University squad.With the first set tied at three, Austin Peay (1-0) went on a quick 3-0 scoring spurt and never looked back. The Lady Govs extended their lead to 16-10 later in the set before winning the frame 25-17. The second set went back-and-forth until the Tigers separated themselves with the set tied at 20. With Altrese Hawkins serving, Maja Kostic recorded back-to-back kills to put Memphis up 22-20. Following an Austin Peay timeout, Alexis Wesley put away one of her three kills in the match. Marija Jovanovic ended the 25-20 win with a kill to even the match at one set apiece. With the scored tied at two in the third set, the Lady Govs went on another run, scoring eight of the next 10 points to force a Memphis timeout. The lead extended to seven points three times and Austin Peay took a 2-1 advantage with the 25-19 victory. The Tigers jumped out early in the fourth set, but Austin Peay had an answer for every Tiger attack. Facing set point, and trailing 24-21, an Austin Peay service error sparked the Tiger offense. Aleksandra Petronijevic followed with an ace, leading the Tigers to a 26-24 victory. The teams again traded blows in the fifth set until the Lady Govs started to pull away with the score tied at 11. Austin Peay rolled off four consecutive points to take the set 15-11 and the match 3-2. Hawkins led the Tigers with 19 kills and 18 digs for the double-double. Jovanovic wasn't far behind with 13 kills while Veronica Zimmerman posted a team-high 26 assists. Four Austin Peay hitters recorded at least 10 kills in the match, led by Hillary Plybon's 19 kills. Cami Fields dished out 50 assists for the Lady Govs. In the final match of the day, Southern Illinois (1-1) got off to a hot start and didn't let up. The Salukis jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead, forcing a Memphis (0-2) timeout. Southern Illinois went on to take the set 25-15. With the scored tied a three in the second set, Kostic ignited a quick 4-0 spurt with a kill, and she capped the run with an ace. Memphis held a 16-12 lead following a Jovanovic ace, but the Salukis worked their way back in the set by scoring five of the next six points to even the score at 17-17. From there, Southern Illinois outscored the Tigers 8-5 to take the set 25-22. The Saluki offense stayed hot in the third set, jumping out to a 13-4 lead. Southern Illinois held the lead there and took the 25-16 victory to earn the sweep. Hawkins and Jovanovic paced the Tiger offense with 15 and 11 kills, respectively. Zimmerman dished out 31 assists while Petronijevic recorded 13 digs. Memphis will be in action again tomorrow at the Memphis Invitational. The Tigers play UALR at 12:00 p.m. and Eastern Michigan University at 5:00 p.m. in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.