Volleyball Improves to 4-1
Sept. 5, 2003
DAVIDSON, N.C. - The University of Memphis volleyball team used a series of runs and some timely offensive outbursts to down Radford, 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-20) in the first match of the Davidson Wildcat Volleyball Invitational, Friday.
Senior Shella Neba (Aurora, Colo./St. Mary) led the Tigers with 12 kills and three total blocks, including one solo. Senior Brittany Barnett (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) added 11 kills and two total blocks, taking on eight digs in the win. Junior Tiara Gilkey (Creve Coeur, Mo./Pattonsville) was the third Tiger in double-digit kills with 10. The C-USA Co-Player of the Week, Gilkey also posted her fifth straight double-double with 11 digs, adding five assists and two service aces in the win. Junior setter Heather Watts (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) led Memphis with three service aces, 39 assists and 13 digs.
"That's the first match we've won in three, so that was good," Head Coach Carrie Yerty said. "Melissa Nance did a great job offensively for us and we served much tougher than the last tournament. It was an ugly win, but it was a good opportunity to use our bench and let them show their stuff."
Game one was tightly contested as Radford shot out to a 3-1 lead before Memphis battled back to take its first lead of the game at 6-5 off a Watts putdown from a pass from freshman Christen Clayton (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake). The two teams struggled with their respective serves during the match, with Radford recording five service errors in game one, compared to three from the Tigers.
Memphis seemed to have game one under control before stalling at 29 points while Radford used a 4-1 run to pull back to 29-25 before freshman Melissa Nance (Frankfort, Ind./Clinton Prairie) downed one of her nine kills to give Memphis game one, 30-25.
Game two again found the Tigers down early, as Radford was up 5-4 before a Gilkey kill tied the game at five. A series of ties would follow, as the Highlanders took advantage of Memphis service and attack errors before one of Neba's 12 kills gave the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish. Memphis used a 4-2 run to pull away from Radford to get to 16-12. Radford pulled back to 16-15 before an 11-1 Memphis run put the Tigers up 27-19. Radford used a 5-1 run of their own to pull back to 28-23 before a Neba kill sealed game two, 30-24.
It appeared that the Highlanders were ready to be done with the match in game three, trailing by as many as 10 at 15-5 before embarking on a series of runs that pulled them to 20-15 on a Gilkey attack error. A Watts' kill put Memphis up 23-16, before Radford freshman setter Danielle Rynd (St. Louis, Mo./Fort Zumwalt South) answered back with a dump of her own to keep Radford within reach at 23-17. But Memphis answered with a Watts kill and service ace and a Neba block solo to go up 29-19. A Radford service error sealed the match, 30-19. Rynd finished with 24 assists, while Divona Cox finished with a team-leading nine kills in a loss that dropped Radford to 0-4 on the season.
Memphis faces Troy State, Saturday, at 10 a.m. (EDT), before facing host Davidson at 7 p.m. (EDT).