Tiger Volleyball Blanks the Big Green, 3-0
Sept. 22, 2002
HANOVER, N.H. - The University of Memphis volleyball team (12-4, 0-0 C-USA) extended its season-best winning streak to eight matches with a 3-0 win over Dartmouth before, Sunday. The Tigers will now have an eight day break in the schedule before returning to the Elma Roane Fieldhouse to host UT-Martin, Oct. 1. Game scores were 30-25, 30-25, and 30-21.
Memphis started fast in game one, running out to an 11-4 lead before Dartmouth took its first timeout of the match. But the Big Green came back after three consecutive Tiger attack errors and two straight service errors allowed Dartmouth to pull within 19-15. The remainder of the first game remained close, with the Tigers committing six more attack errors in the later part of game one before back-to-back kills from Tiara Gilkey (Creve Couer, Mo./Pattonsville) and Brittany Barnett (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) put Memphis up 28-25. The Tigers closed out game one 30-25.
Game two was more tightly contested from the outset, with the Big Green holding a 2-0 lead early before Memphis came back to tie it at three apiece. The score waivered back and forth, finally knotting at 10 apiece before the Tiger offense came to life. But a six-point Tiger lead was cut to 23-22 when the Tiger passing game got into trouble and could not set up the offense for sophomore setter Heather Watts (Salt Lake City, Utah/Skyline). The Tigers weathered the passing problems and Head Coach Carrie Yerty inserted freshman Ashley Green (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf) into the line-up. Green responded with a kill from the right side that gave Memphis a 30-25 game two win.
The early part of game three was all Memphis, as the Tigers were leading 18-10 when Dartmouth called time. The Big Green tried to rally back, but a series of spectacular defensive digs from Watts and some quick reactions by Barnett and Gilkey to keep those digs alive and in play broke any Big Green momentum. A pair of kills from freshman Kristen Hardee (Sante Fe, Texas/Sante Fe) and kill from Barnett with three of her teammates laying on the floor due to slipping while playing defense sealed the Memphis match victory, 30-19.
"I thought overall we had a good weekend," Yerty said. "Anytime you go on the road and win three games, that's something positive and exciting. We got great performances from Brittany, Tiara and Heather all weekend, both offensively and defensively, but in order to begin preparing for our Conference USA schedule, we will work in practice over the idle part of our schedule on getting on middles more involved in our offense and our blocking game."
Memphis, which has now won its last eight matches dating back to Sept. 7th, won the Boston College tournament, Saturday. Three Tigers were named to the all-tournament team at BC, led by Watts and her tournament MVP performance. Barnett again joined Watts for her fourth all-tournament recognition this season, while Gilkey broke through for her first all-tournament recognition.