Volleyball Oulasts Eastern Kentucky, 3-2
Sept. 18, 2004
STARKVILLE, Miss.-- - Memphis erased a four-point deficit with a 10-4 run and then scored the final two points of the game to earn a 3-2 win over Eastern Kentucky (8-3), Saturday afternoon in the MSU/Microtel Classic. Tiara Gilkey posted a season-high 25 kills and Nancy Nellans added 21 to become the first two Tigers to down 20 kills in a single match. Heather Watts also set a season-high 68 assists to help Memphis (9-4) to the victory.
Down 5-1 in the fifth game, the Tigers looked to be in danger of letting the match get away. But a service ace by Emily Steckel tied the game at 7-7 and Gilkey put Memphis ahead for the first time in the game, 10-9, with a kill. The Colonels fought back knot the game at 13, but Gilkey and Hardee hammered consecutive kills for the 15-13 win. Gilkey downed six of the Tiger's 10 fifth-game kills on her way to logging her sixth consecutive double-double.
Memphis took Game one with a solid performance from Nellans. The South Bend, Ind. native slammed seven of her 21 kills and hit .750 in the first set to pace the Tigers, who finished the game off with a 13-7 run to capture the win.
Eastern Kentucky battled in the second game and used a 9-4 spurt to take its largest lead at 16-19. The Tigers then scored 14 of the next 20 points to win the game and go ahead 2-0.
The Colonels then put together a strong run that helped them to victory in both of the next two games to even the slate a two games each.
Five unanswered points gave EKU an 11-7 advantage. From there on, they never looked back and led by as much as five at 27-22. The Tigers scored six of the last eight points, but it was too little too late as the Colonols took the third set, 30-27.
The Memphis attack was unable to regroup in the fourth game as EKU put together a strong 10-3 run to take a 13-6 lead. The U of M fought back to tie the game on two occassions, but the Colonels regained control to send the match into the fifth game with a 30-21 win.
Nellans and Gilkey added 21 and 17 digs each in double-double performances. Melissa Nance was the only other Tiger to post double figures in kills, with 12. Christen Clayton had 16 digs and Steckel and Watts had 15 a piece.
EKU got a strong attacking performance from Lesley Aldridge, who downed a team-high 20 kills. The Colonels also had four players register at least 10 digs, led by libero Brittany Nobilio's 30 digs.
"It was nice to see Nancy (Nellans) have another good and play consistant on the front row and back row," said head coach Carrie Yerty. This was a total team effort. They all worked really hard even when things weren't going their way. Heather (Watts) and Tiara (Gilkey) showed great leadership. The lades showed a lot of character and we look forward to playing Mississippi State in the championship."
Memphis will matchup with the host Mississippi State Bulldogs at 3 p.m.