Tiger Volleyball Races to 3-0 Win Over Louisiana Tech
Sept. 17, 2004
STARKVILLE, Miss.-- - The University of Memphis volleyball team improved to 8-4 on the year with a sweep of Louisiana Tech (30-24, 30-23, 30-28) Friday in the opening match of the MSU/Microtel Classic hosted by Mississippi State. The Tigers were led by Tiara Gilkey, who had a match-high 16 kills and 16 digs in her fifth straight double-double performance. Freshman Ashley Liford also added 12 kills in the win.
Memphis jumped on Louisiana Tech early, and never let up after a Game one win. Liford hit .500 with five kills and Gilkey added five kills in the first game. Nancy Nellans had one of her better games of the season, hitting .375 with four kills as the Tigers hit .342 for the game. Memphis used a pair of 4-0 runs, with the second giving them a 22-13 advantage to take control of the opening game.
Down 3-1 in the second set, a pair of Gilkey kills highlighted a 5-0 run by the Tigers to give them a 7-4 lead. A Liford kill broke a 4-0 run by the Lady Techsters that had cut the lead to 19-18. Memphis then went on a 4-0 run of thier own capped by a Nellans kill to take a 23-18 advantage. The Tigers stretched the lead out to as many as seven in a 30-23 win of the second game.
Louisiana Tech fought hard in effort to salvage a game three win, but the Tigers got six kills from Gilkey and four more from Liford to take the see-saw battle. Behind 28-24, Tech staged a comeback to knot the game at 28, but Memphis got kills from Gilkey and Shelby Burton to clinch the game and match.
Heather Watts posted a match-high 38 assists with nine digs and six kills in as many attempts, while Nellans hit a match-high .471 with nine kills. The Tiger's 50 kills in the match was a season-high for a three-game match. Memphis posted more kills than LTU in each of the three games.
Megan Rush was the leading attacker for the Lady Techsters with 10 kills. Heather Anderson had 12 digs.
"We passed the ball really well tonight," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "It was also good to see Nancy (Nellans) have a great game and hit .471 for the two games. We moved Tiara (Gilkey) to the outside and she had a nice game. Heather (Watts) set a nice match and is continuing to be a leader on the court. Tonight was a much better team effort and we had fewer errors. This was a great way to start off the tournament."
Memphis will play a doubleheader on Saturday. The Tigers will face Eastern Kentucky at 11 a.m. followed by a matchup with the host Mississippi State Bulldogs at 3 p.m.