Tiger Volleyball Downs Kent State 3-0 in Season-Opener
Aug. 25, 2006
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -
Memphis (1-0) 39 30 30 Kent State (0-1) 37 23 18
The University of Memphis volleyball team got its season off to a solid start with an impressive 3-0 sweep of Kent State, in the opening contest of the University of Evansville Aces Invitational Friday evening. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Bury downed a career-high 13 kills to lead Memphis to its fourth-straight season-opening victory, and ninth in 11 years under Head Coach Carrie Yerty.
"We gave a solid effort for our first game," Yerty said. "Our middles did a great job blocking and that helped us take them out of their offense. We were able to neutralize their offense by serving tough and limiting their hitter's options. To win game one the way we did gave us momentum for the rest of the match. In the first game we kept our composure and kept fighting. It was a great team effort all the way around."
Memphis wasted little time asserting its dominance, racing to a 5-0 lead in the first set. But Kent State battled back to tie the contest at 10, before block assists by Shelby Burton and Laura Côtè capped another Memphis 5-0 rally to make it 15-10. Memphis looked as if it would take game one easily at 28-25, but those hopes were dashed as KSU scored six of the next eight points to take its first lead, 31-30. The two squads traded points until Memphis grabbed the lead for good on a Golden Flashes attack error, 38-37. The Tigers ended the opening-game marathon 39-37 on a kill by Burton. The junior middle blocker had six kills and hit .500 in the opening frame. Bury added a team-best seven kills in game one.
The Tigers erased an 18-21 deficit with an 11-2 run to finish game two and take a 30-23 victory into the break. A kill by Burton jump-started a five-point Memphis rally that gave the Tigers a 23-21 advantage. Burton then ended the game with three-straight service aces in the back left corner.
Memphis raced to a 10-2 cushion to open the final game. The Tigers never looked back as Melissa Nance, who put away five of her eight kills on the night in the third game, downed a kill to end a 5-0 run. Bury followed with consecutive kills to extend the lead to 27-16. A KSU service error and two attack errors ended the contest 30-18.
Burton finished the night with 11 kills and a .474 hitting percentage. Senior Colette Ramirez was also strong in her 2006 debut, hammering 10 kills--five of which came in game one. Laura Côtè handed out a match-high 44 assists for the Tigers. Ashley Liford helped the Memphis cause with a match-high six service aces. Memphis served up 12 aces in the contest.
Defensively, Christen Clayton led Memphis with 16 digs to move into ninth-place on the Tigers' career digs list. Kori Smith, Liford and Bury each chipped in with six digs for a Memphis defense that held KSU to just .121 hitting in the match.
Ashley Feutz led Kent State with 13 kills and Laura Jensen had 13 digs.
Memphis will play a doubleheader tomorrow. The Tigers will open the day with a matchup against Austin Peay at 10 a.m. before taking on the home team Evansville Purple Aces in the nightcap at 5 p.m.