Volleyball Takes Two to Win Memphis Invitational
Sept. 11, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Air Force (2-7) 18 25 14 25 8 Memphis (7-2) 25 16 25 22 15
Memphis put together its strongest offensive output of the year to cruise to a 3-0 victory over LaSalle, and followed that performance with a five-set win over Air Force to claim the 2010 Memphis Invitational championships. Sophomore outside hitter Altrese Hawkins was named the tournament MOP, while Marija Jovanovic and Christine Bach were each selected to the All-tournament team. Memphis improves to 7-2.
It took Memphis five sets to take down Air Force and claim its first outright home tournament title since 2006. The Tigers outside hitters combined for 48 of the team's 59 kills in the nightcap. Jovanovic led the Tigers with a match-best 17 kills, while Altrese Hawkins downed 16. Vesna Jelic put together a strong double-double outing of 15 kills and 14 digs.
Bach capped a solid week with 19 digs. Cassidy Hawkins and Jovanovic made five blocks each for the Tigers, who held Air Force to .096 for the contest.
After Air Force forced a deciding set with a 25-22 win in the fourth set, Memphis got out fast in the final set. Katie Meyer's ace made it 4-1 and the Tigers extended the lead to 6-2 on a kill by Altrese Hawkins. A kill by Jelic made it 11-5 and Memphis never let the Falcons threaten en route to a 15-8 match-clinching victory.
LaSalle (3-8) 13 13 19 Memphis (6-2) 25 25 25
The defense was equally as effective, holding LaSalle to just .083 hitting for the contest. The Explorers were held under .200 in all three sets. The Tigers were led by Christine Bach's match-high 18 digs.
Memphis dominated play from the outset, connecting for a .444 attack percentage. The Tigers scored the first three points of the match and never looked back. They maintained a five-point cushion for the majority of the opener before a service error by LaSalle helped the U of M finish strong. Ahead15-11, the Tigers used a pair of Explorers errors and a kill by Katlin Inglish to extend the lead to 18-11. Memphis then scored the final seven points of the set for the 25-13 win. Sophomore Marija Jovanovic fueled the 7-0 run with three of her eight kills.
The Tigers continued its strong play in the second, hitting .407 and holding LaSalle to a .080 average. A kill by Altrese Hawkins and four offensive errors by the Explorers powered a 5-0 run by Memphis and forced a LaSalle timeout. The Tigers held on to the momentum out of the break and got a kill by Katie Meyer followed by two strikes from Jovanovic for a commanding 10-1 advantage. The Tigers used an ace from Maja Kostic and three kills by Altrese Hawkins to increase their cushion to 20-9.
The third and final set was the most competitive as both teams fought through nine ties and five lead changes. The Tigers saw their largest deficit of the day at 13-10 after a kill by LaSalle's Kelly Scanlon. Memphis pushed for the equalizer and got it, at 13-13, with a kill by Altrese Hawkins. Trailing 17-16, Jovanovic put away a kill and Inglish added two terminations to put the Tiger on top for good, 19-17. Memphis outscored LaSalle, 5-1 to close out the match.
Memphis will round out preseason play next week when it travels to Conway, Ark. to play in the UCA Sugar Bear Classic. The Tigers will face Jackson State (11 a.m.) and UCA (7 p.m.) on Fri., Sept. 17. Memphis will take on Northwestern State on Sat., Sept. 18 at 10 a.m.