Tiger Volleyball Falls to UAB in Five Games in C-USA Opener
Sept. 19, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Memphis took a 2-1 lead after three games, but was able to hold of a determined UAB team, falling 3-2 to the Blazers in the Conference USA opener for both teams Tuesday evening. The Tigers got a team-high 20 kills from Shelby Burton, but were held to .114 and .069 hitting percentages in games four and five, respectively.
UAB jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the deciding game and never looked back on its way to a 15-11 win to clinch the match.
Down 18-15, Memphis mounted a seven-point push to take a 22-18 lead. It looked as if Memphis would wrap up the match in four games, but three Blazers' service aces fueled an 9-0 run that saw UAB overtake the Tigers and claim a 28-23 lead before a 30-26 final.
Both teams volleyed for control early on in the opening set, but it was UAB that gained control on the strength of a four-point push that gave them a 10-7 lead. The Blazers held the four-point cushion until a pair of service aces from Smith knotted the contest at 20-20. The Tiger looked poised to take game one when they went ahead 27-25, but UAB had other plans as the Blazers scored four of the next five rallies to go in front 28-27. UAB held on for a 30-28 triumph.
Memphis got out of the gates slowly in the second frame, falling behind 5-2 before kills by Ashley Liford and Melissa Nance gave the Tigers a 7-6 advantage. However, the lead was short-lived as UAB put up a 6-0 run to claim a 14-10 lead. Memphis battled hard and regained the lead at 18-17 on a kill by Nance. The Tigers used the strong serve of Smith and a pair of kills by Burton to take a commanding 28-23. The Tigers hit .263 in the set, while the defense held UAB to a .159 clip in the second frame.
A pair of aces by Kori Smith powered an 8-0 Tiger rally midway through the third game as Memphis took charge with a 17-8 lead. Smith finished the night with a career-high five aces. A pair of aces by Sarah Bury extended Memphis' lead to 25-14. Bury served up four of the U of M's 12 aces. The Tigers, who hit .423 in the third game, finished of the set off with a 4-0 run. The Blazers hit just .027 in the game.
Four Memphis hitters posted 10 or more kills, led by Burton's 20. Liford downed 11, while Bury and Nance had 11 and 10, respectively. Setter Laura Côté had 54 assists for the Tigers, who hit just .182 in the contest.
Defensively Memphis made a match-high 83 digs behind Christen Clayton's match-high 25 digs. Clayton eclipsed the 1,400-dig plateau and moved into the third-place spot on Memphis' career digs list. Bury and Côté chipped in with 16 digs apiece and Smith added a career-high 13 digs in a solid all-around effort.
Ivana Bozic led the UAB offense with a match-high 26 kills. Casey Dent and Fernanda Domingos downed 12 and 10 kills each. Brianna Galvin led UAB with 19 digs.
Memphis returns to the court on Fri., Sept. 22 when it hosts Houston in the home C-USA opener. The match is set for 7 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.