Memphis Falls to Jacksonville State, 3-1, In Season Opener
Aug. 27, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Jacksonville State (1-0) 25 24 25 25 Memphis (0-1) 19 26 18 16Altrese Hawkins led all players with 18 kills and Marija Jovanovic added 11 kills, but Memphis was overpowered by Jacksonville State, 3-1, in Friday evening's season-opener at the Belmont Invitational.
"I have to give much credit to Jacksonville State," said third-year head coach April Jauregui. "They are a very strong team and will contend to win their conference this year. That's a good test early. I think our team will learn from this and come out ready (to play) tomorrow."
Jacksonville State hit .242 in the contest, while holding Memphis to .117. JSU held a 57-45 advantage in kills.
The opening set saw both club's battle for control. Trailing 12-10, Memphis got a pair of kills from outside hitter Vesna Jelic to fuel a 4-0 push for a 14-12 lead. However, that cushion would be short-lived as Jacksonville State came back to score on the next four serves to take a two-point advantage. The Gamecocks never let go of the lead, finishing off the set outscoring the Tigers 12-4. Memphis got five kills from Hawkins and four from Jelic in the opening frame.
Memphis came out firing in the second. Jovanovic got going and sandwiched a pair of kills around two JSU attacking errors for a 4-0 lead. The sophomore led Memphis with five kills in the set. A service ace by Jovanovic extended the Tiger's lead to eight, 16-8. With a 24-19 lead in hand, Memphis struggled to find the set-clinching point. JSU reeled off six straight scores to knot the set at 24 to force the Tigers into a timeout. Memphis came out of the timeout poised to put the set away and they did just that. Jovanovic connected for a kill and freshman Katie Meyer sealed the win with a solo block.
An 8-0 run by Jacksonville State midway through the third set put the Tigers behind an 11-point deficit at 20-9. Trailing 21-10, Memphis used a pair of kills by Katlin Inglish to cut the Gamecock's lead to 23-16, but the big lead proved to be too much to overcome as JSU took a 2-1 lead with a 25-18 set-three victory.
The Tigers fell behind early in the fourth, but used consecutive strikes by Inglish and Altrese Hawkins to trim the JSU lead to 11-9. Inglish ended the night with six kills. That would be as close as Memphis could keep the set as Jacksonville State scored on three-straight rallies to go ahead 19-13. The Gamecocks finished the set strong, with scores on five of the final six serves for the 25-16 final.
The Tigers will look to break through the win column tomorrow when they wrap up play in the 2010 Belmont Invitational. Memphis will take on host Belmont, at 12:30 p.m., followed by a 3:30 p.m. matchup with Miami (Ohio).