Memphis Defeats Howard to Win Spartan Spiketacular
Sept. 17, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Altrese Hawkins downed 10 kills, including the 1000th of her career, and was named the tournament's MVP as Memphis defeated Howard 3-0 (25-19;25-16;27-25) to capture its third tournament crown of the preseason at the Spartan Spiketacular.
Memphis started the first set slow, allowing Howard to hang around and tie the match at seven. Two kills from Lauren Hawkins and an ace from Vesna Jelic gave Memphis a 10-7 lead. Howard would get as close as 11-10, but the Tigers regained control and went up 18-13.
Memphis went up 23-18 before a solo block and a kill from Marija Jovanovic put the set away, 25-19. Jovanovic and L. Hawkins led the Tigers with three kills each in the first set, and Jelic added two kills and four digs. A. Hawkins also recorded the 1,000th kill of her career during the set.
The Tigers took the second set behind a very balanced attack, as four players (A. Hawkins, L. Hawkins, Jelic and Jovanovic) each registered three kills. The Bison kept the set close, tying it at eight after a service error by Jovanovic, but the Tigers went on a 4-0 run powered by kills from Maja Kostic and A. Hawkins to take a 12-8 advantage.
The 4-0 run turned into an 8-1 run to give the Tigers a 16-9 advantage, but Howard fought back to narrow the deficit to 20-16. The Tigers then scored five-straight points, including two kills from L. Hawkins, to put the set away, 25-16.
The third set proved to be a tough one for the Tigers, as Howard kept scrapping its way back into the set. Memphis used a 5-1 run in the middle of the set to take a 12-8 lead powered by kills from A. Hawkins and L. Hawkins. The Tigers were ahead 19-15 and appeared to be in control of the set before Howard went on a 6-1 run to take its first lead of the set at 21-20.
The Bison scored another point to increase their lead to 22-20, but an attack error and a serve error allowed Memphis to regain the lead 24-23. Howard rallied to score two straight points and get a set point at 25-24, but the Tigers staved off elimination and scored three-straight points to clinch the set, 27-25, the match, 3-0 and the tournament championship.
A. Hawkins led the Tiger attack with 10 kills, while Jovanovic and L. Hawkins registered eight and seven, respectively. Jovanovic and Jelic were both named to the event's all-tournament team as Jelic finished the match with five kills and 10 digs.
NCAA-assist leader Hajnalka Molnar finished the match with 33 assists, and Maja Kostic turned in a solid performance of three kills and 10 digs. The Tigers hit .305 as a team en route to their sixth-straight victory.
Howard was led by outside hitter Tosin Elebute, who finished 16 kills in addition to six digs. Jasmine King and Stephanie Shultis each registered double-digit assists, finishing with 15 and 11, respectively.
Memphis returns home to open Conference USA play Tuesday at 7 p.m. against UAB at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. All military personnel with ID or wearing their uniform get in free.